A date has been set for a new count of almost 15,000 votes cast in the May 2014 local election district in Co Kerry, in which a former senator narrowly lost out on being elected.
The ‘count afresh’ of the Listowel Municipal District is the first time in the history of the State such a decision has been ordered.
It will now take place on February 10 at the John Mitchels GAA clubhouse in Tralee, the original venue for the election count.
A returning officer and deputy returning officer have been appointed from Kerry County Council. They were named as senior council officials Charlie O’Sullivan and Martin O’Donoghue.
Each of the original 15 candidates is to be allowed seven passes for scrutineers and others.
The new count was ordered earlier this week by Judge Thomas E O’Donnell at the Circuit Civil Court in Tralee.
It had followed a Supreme Court Decision in December in a case taken by a defeated candidate, the former Fianna Fail senator Dan Kiely against Kerry County Council.
Mr Kiely, 75, who had run in the election as an Independent lost by two votes. A handful of votes separated three candidates in the final count. They were Mr Kiely and two elected councillors, one from Fine Gael and one from Fianna Fáil.
The Supreme Court ordered that votes beginning with sequences other than ‘1’, be excluded, and an entirely new count take place. Seven seats are to be decided and the count is likely to take two days.
Ballots are to be re-sorted, and closely examined.
Counsel for Mr Kiely, Elizabeth Murphy told Judge O’Donnell that Mr Kiely wanted the count to take place as soon as possible.
The date was approved by Judge O’Donnell yesterday at a sitting of the court in Limerick.
The judge said that he will be available in Limerick, where the circuit is sitting for the next four weeks, in the event of any dispute over the count.
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