Monday 21 October 2019

Fingal County council: Final counts filled overnight

Cormac Murphy

AFTER 40 hours and 31 counts, the last seats on Fingal County Council were filled.

The result was made public just before 1am this morning, bringing to an end a marathon session.

Loud cheers went up for the successful candidates who had sat through 14 counts on Saturday and Sunday and another 17 yesterday.

Following the distribution of Adrian Henchy's surplus, the remaining five seats were allocated.

As with the original count over the weekend, Sinn Fein's Philip Lynam and Darragh Butler of Fianna Fail were elected early on.

It then took another 15 counts for the next two places to be taken and one more for it to be wrapped up.

Michael Collins (Ind), who had asked for the recount on Sunday, was eliminated after 14 rounds once again.

Mr Henchy said he realised he was transferring well from candidates in the Donabate and Portrane areas after the first count.

"It was worth the wait. I think Fianna Fail went from 15pc to 21pc," he said afterwards.

He paid tribute to his running mate John Hennessy who narrowly failed to get elected.

The list of candidates in Swords was the second longest in the country, with 26 names.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly turned up at the count centre at Sluagh Hall in Swords in the hope that Fine Gael's Bob Dowling would get elected.

Mr Dowling was in contention right to the end but didn't take the last seat.

"By no means is it a good day for the Government and I think we need to make it very clear that we have heard the people and re-double our efforts to ensure we can give some relief by way of income and also to ensure those in need have the service they need," Dr Reilly said.

Eugene Coppinger, brother of new Dublin West TD Ruth Coppinger, had a successful campaign.

Mr Coppinger, a Socialist Part and Anti-Austerity Alliance candidate, said the whole family is proud of his little sister Ruth's achievement.

"It's absolutely amazing. We're really, really so proud," he said.

The recount of 14,240 votes was asked for by Mr Collins (Ind) when only a vote separated him from the next highest candidate.

In the first count on Saturday, Mr Butler was a vote shy of the quota after the first round.

Yesterday, however, he made it through at the first time of asking.

"I won't lie and say it doesn't (matter). It's a good feeling to be elected in the first count. It's a great feeling to be elected full stop with such a big vote," he said.

This is especially the case as there was "the second longest ballot paper in the country with 26 names on it", he added.

"The vast majority of those candidates out there were competitive, knocking on doors. I had two very strong running mates as well. To get the vote I did I was absolutely thrilled," he said. To get anywhere near a quota is brilliant. I suppose it's nice for the record books to show you came in on the first count.

Swords Result:

Philip Lynam (SF) 1st count

Darragh Butler (FF) 1st count

Adrian Henchy (FF) 16th count

Joe Newman (Ind) 16th count

Eugene Coppinger (AAA) 17th count

Anne Devitt (Ind)  17th count

Paul Mulville (Ind) 17th count

Justin Sinnott (Ind) 17th count

Duncan Smith (Lab) 17th count

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