No conspiracy: Spring and Browne just didn't cultivate enough votes
There's a great auld yarn told about how Ireland won a seat against the odds on the UN Security Council in 2001.
The mandarins in the Department of Foreign Affairs felt we wouldn't win because we couldn't get enough votes from Africa.
Then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told them to get the Ambassadors to check where the leaders of each country went to school. Ahern cutely figured many would have been educated by Irish missionaries. The diplomats used the religious order contacts to lobby the African heads of state on behalf of the native sod.