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#Elections2019: Dublin count halted over transfer dispute

#Elections2019: Dublin count halted over transfer dispute
Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A row over the transfer of votes and the so-called 'cold storage' Brexit seat has brought a halt to counting in the European elections in Dublin.

Independents4Change TD Clare Daly said there was now a possibility the disagreement could be heading for the courts.

The row centres over whether Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan's votes can be transferred across to Ms Daly or Fianna Fáil's Barry Andrews when she is eliminated, as is expected.

Two seats have already been filled in the constituency, by the Greens Ciaran Cuffe and Fine Gael's Frances Fitzgerald.

Ms Daly's team say that the returning officer earlier today gave a commitment that those votes would be distributed and counted.

However, this would set a precedent as the last person to be eliminated in an election count usually results in the next highest candidate being elected.

But without the votes being added on.

While Ms Daly and Mr Andrews look likely to take the last two seats in the four-seater, neither want the the fourth.

The fourth seat only comes into play if and when Brexit goes ahead.

It has been deemed the 'cold storage' seat, as the MEP elected to it may have to wait months or longer to go to Europe.

Ms Daly's team argue that lawyers for Fianna Fáil stopped the count and objected to a decision to count Ms Boylan's transfers when they go across as they fear those numbers would guarantee the Independent the third seat.

Returning officer Fergus Gallagher has now suspended the count until tomorrow.

The disagreement happened ahead of the votes of Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon being counted after he was eliminated.

Gannon polled almost 30,000 votes and these would be expected to benefit Ms Daly over Mr Andrews.

Nonetheless, Ms Daly is also confident these transfers will bring her across the line and give her the third seat.

She said that there had been a decision taken in Ireland South over the same issue.

She also said it looked like the matter may now go to the courts.

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