Kevin Doyle looks at some of the stand-out stories from around the country
THE HOLIDAY CANDIDATE
Sinn Féin candidate Patricia Ryan missed much of the campaign because she set more value on a holiday - but still managed to top the poll in Kildare South.
The councillor was absent for a string of local debates and events after jetting off.
Party officials said at time that she had received "a short holiday as a Christmas gift from her kids.
"The dates couldn't be changed at short notice once the General Election was called."
Despite this, she cruised into first position with 10,155 votes. Luckily for her, TDs are entitled to plenty of holidays.
THE ALTERNATIVE BREXIT CHIEF
Every time Micheál Martin was questioned during the campaign about a lack of inspiring talent on Fianna Fáil frontbench, his answer was: Lisa Chambers.
The party leader made no secret of the fact he believed Chambers could take the Brexit baton from Simon Coveney.
However, it seems the voters of Mayo had a different idea. Ms Chambers lost her seat overnight in a massive blow for the party.
Michael Ring topped the poll in Mayo, making him possibly Fine Gael's only poll topper in the country.
THE MARTIN FAMILY
Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin comfortably defended her seat in Dublin Rathdown, a constituency that is notoriously fickle. But the nerves weren't lifted by the tallies because some of Catherine's nearest and dearest are also in the running.
Her husband Francis Noel Duffy (pictured right with Catherine) was on the ballot in Dublin South West and her brother Vincent P Martin ran in Kildare North.
The two men worked their way into contention, although a triple whammy will be a stretch. A good day out, though, as the family picked up 15,326 votes.
THE INDEPENDENT MINISTERS
Shane Ross and Katherine Zappone have paid the price for spending the past four years at the Cabinet table with Fine Gael.
The now former transport and children's ministers will not be returning to the 33rd Dáil after losing out in their constituencies.
OPW Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran is in a battle for his seat in Longford-Westmeath . His two other Independent Alliance colleagues, Finian McGrath and John Halligan, chose not to run at all.
By contrast, Denis Naughten, who was forced to resign over the broadband controversy, has been re-elected.
THE COMEBACK KID
Enniscorthy's Johnny Mythen lost his seat in last year's local elections with just 818 votes. The veteran politician dusted himself down and ran in the Wexford by-election earlier in November but finished fourth.
On that occasion he gathered a respectable 4,125 but was ultimately behind Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party.
However, in the space of three months that figure more than quadrupled on Saturday. He was elected on the first count with 18,717 first preferences. This was more than double the vote pulled by Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin.
THE OUTSPOKEN ONES
Regina Doherty was well known in government circles for telling it as she saw it - but voters in Meath East have chosen not to send her back for another term.
The former minister for social protection sent a letter out in the hours before the election telling constituents that she was "literally fighting for my political life". The message was headed: 'Hard Working, Outspoken, Courageous.'
The problem was Doherty was fighting with her running mate Helen McEntee. Mary Mitchell O'Connor also lost out at the death in Dun Laoghaire.
THE LORD MAYOR
Fianna Fáil flopped in much of Dublin when compared with the party's targets - but one man to buck the trend was Paul McAuliffe.
The sitting Lord Mayor will take Fine Gael Noel Rock's seat in Dublin North West, albeit by a much smaller margin than many predicted. His election bid was helped greatly by the fact he has held the Lord Mayor's chain since last June. He used the position to grow his profile considerably.
On the day the election was called, he was presenting five-in-a-row manager Jim Gavin with the freedom of the city. That was always going to go down well on the northside.
THE FORMER TÁNAISTE
Joan Burton has spent 23 years of her life in Leinster House but the electorate has retired her at the age of 71.
She will be remembered as a woman who broke many glass ceilings. However, her time in government between 2011 and 2016 is associated with austerity and water charges. The infamous Jobstown protest in 2014 is an episode she would rather forget.
Her decision to run again this time was questionable given Labour's position in the polls and the field in Dublin West. Ahead of her on the ballot were Leo Varadkar, Jack Chambers and Roderic O'Gorman.
THE LONE RANGER
Galway West TD Seán Canney has survived the cull of the government Independents.
Mr Canney had a bumpy few years in Leinster House and quit the Independent Alliance after being forced to give up his ministry to Kevin 'Boxer' Moran.
However, events eventually played into his hands and he was brought back by Leo Varadkar and asked to take on a second ministry.
Voters in the west decided to stick with him for another term and he could yet find himself negotiating with Varadkar, Micheál Martin or Mary Lou McDonald about being part of a new coalition.
Fianna Fáil's Mary Fitzpatrick looks set to miss out on a seat in Dublin Central for the fifth election in a row.
Her battle to follow in her father Dermot's footsteps and become a TD started in 2007 when she dared to take on Bertie Ahern's so-called 'Drumcondra Mafia'.
While she was on the same ticket as Ahern, their relationship was testy and before the election he issued a letter to 30,000 households asking for transfers to Cyprian Brady. Fitzpatrick was well ahead of Brady on first preferences but Ahern's large surplus helped catapult him to Leinster House. Her luck hasn't improved much.
Politicians are human too. It's easy to forget that they are living, breathing beings with feelings, with aspirations and with loved ones. Yet caricatures abound especially when the country is in election mode.
It will be more than difficult for the ladies and gentlemen of Irish politics to form a stable government from this mayhem. Read John Downing's look at the options for achieving the magic 80-plus TDs … and then we can all quietly weep
Opposition is not Leo Varadkar's first choice. He's spent two years in the Department of the Taoiseach and he likes it there. Government came easy to the country's youngest ever leader and he is not of a mind to give it up so quickly. He would be very reluctant to give up the State dinners with international dignitaries, the late night summits in Brussels and the personal relationships with world leaders.