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Outgoing housing minister Eoghan Murphy holds onto his seat in Dublin Bay South

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Eoghan Murphy celebrates holding onto his seat alongside his actor brother Killian Scott at the RDS. Pic Steve Humphreys
10th February 2020

Eoghan Murphy celebrates holding onto his seat alongside his actor brother Killian Scott at the RDS. Pic Steve Humphreys 10th February 2020

Eoghan Murphy celebrates holding onto his seat alongside his actor brother Killian Scott at the RDS. Pic Steve Humphreys 10th February 2020

Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell has lost her seat in Dublin Bay South, losing out to her party colleague Eoghan Murphy and Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan.

Sinn Féin’s Chris Andrews also took a seat, almost 13 years after he was elected to the Dáil as a Fianna Fáil candidate.

Eamon Ryan had topped the poll yesterday, coming home in the first count with 8,888 first preference votes. The quota in the four seat constituency was 7,919.

Counting went in to a second day with four candidates hoping the transfers of Labour senator Kevin Humphreys would be enough to help get them over the line for the final three seats.

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Kate O’Connell is comforted by her husband Morgan after losing her seat at the RDS. Pic Steve Humphreys
10th February 2020

Kate O’Connell is comforted by her husband Morgan after losing her seat at the RDS. Pic Steve Humphreys 10th February 2020

O’Connell was more than 1,000 votes behind O’Callaghan going in to the final count. She only secured 200 more transfers than him from Humphreys.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy commiserated with her shortly before she left the RDS count centre.

Both O’Callaghan and Andrews said housing was the key issue that kept coming up on the doorsteps during the campaign.

O’Callaghan said: “It is a very diverse constituency but even in the more affluent areas the issues of housing came up repeatedly. People in affluent areas were complaining about the cost of rent, the inability of their children to be able to buy a house.

"Everywhere you went there were people in their 30s at home living with their parents for a while trying to save for a deposit. In the inner city there is a huge crisis in social housing.”

“I met numerous people in the inner city, men in their mid-30s who are living at home and have moved back in again with their parents. You would see the bag in the corner of the living room and the small bed that is rolled up in the day time and is then rolled out, where the son sleeps at night time. These are men who have children, who want to spend time with their children. That was the biggest issue.”

Mr Andrews said this was an issue his party was able to capitalise on.

“It’s a constituency that reflects Ireland in many ways. You have people who are affluent and doing very well and you have the people who are being left behind, there’s huge diversity.

“The people who felt alienated and left behind - Some of the conditions that people are living in, in flat complexes, they’re like tenements, they came out really strongly and got behind SF.”

Online Editors