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Voters turn against FF to slay 'Drumcondra Mafia'

For decades, Bertie Ahern's 'Drumcondra Mafia' dominated Dublin Central, making it one of the safest Fianna Fail seats in the country. How things have changed.

With the announcement in the RDS of the first preference votes yesterday, it was clear that Fianna Fail would lose both its seats and be without a TD in the area for the first time since the constituency came into being in 1981.

Out-going TD Cyprian Brady polled 4.7 per cent of the first preference votes.

His party colleague Mary Fitzpatrick fared better on 10 per cent but neither candidate was expected to pick up sufficient transfers, as Dublin Central turned against Fianna Fail in spectacular fashion.

Fine Gael's Paschal Donohoe topped the poll with 19.9 per cent of first preferences and was elected on the second count last night.

He took the first of the four seats while Labour's Joe Costello, who polled 18 per cent of first preference votes, took a seat.

A late-night battle for the remaining two seats ensued between Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald, Independent outgoing TD Maureen O'Sullivan and Labour's Aine Clancy.

The Sinn Fein vice president, Ms McDonald led on 5,065 votes.

Ms O'Sullivan, who first won the seat in the 2009 by-election triggered by the death of Tony Gregory, followed on 4,830 votes, with Ms Clancy a further 977 votes behind.

Kevin Keane

Sunday Independent