Kiely ponders further election fight

A full transcript of the two-day petition to hold an election recount in the Listowel area has been ordered as the legal team for former Fianna Fáil senator Dan Kiely said they were "actively considering" an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Kiely ponders further election fight

Issues of costs were to be finalised at Tralee Circuit Court yesterday, but this has now been deferred pending the provision of what the court was told would be a “costly” transcript — which is to be paid for by Kerry County Council.

Two weeks ago, Mr Kiely failed to secure a recount of the recent Listowel local area election after Judge Carroll Moran dismissed the petition following a two-day hearing.

Mr Kiely, 71, who ran as an Independent candidate after failing to win his party nomination — when party headquarters ruled against a three-candidate strategy — was beaten by two votes.

He sought a full recount, to include all papers, including spoilt or questionable ballot papers, claiming he was not allowed to view the spoilt votes and was not present in the hall when the adjudication of 230 papers was announced.

A number of issues arose during the intense, two-day hearing, including the acceptance by returning officers of three, four and fives as ones, twos and threes.

Fianna Fáil (the party had senior counsel and junior counsel) and Kerry County Council, both of whom opposed the petition, told the court they were not seeking costs.

However, a number of other parties are, including Fine Gael’s Mike Kennelly, the court was told yesterday.

Yesterday, Kerry County Council solicitor Rosemary Cronin said the council was seeking a full transcript and needed a court order to acquire this.

The issue of who would pay for the transcript then arose as this would be costly, and Ms Cronin said the council would be willing to pay for it.

Judge Carroll Moran who had given an oral judgment, said that, “on reflection”, he too wished to produce a written judgment and needed a transcript.

“I’d like the opportunity to tidy up what I was giving in an extemporare fashion, that’s all,” the judge said.

Tom Rice, counsel for Fianna Fáil, said a transcript would be needed in the event of a case stated to the Supreme Court.

After the court, solicitor for Mr Kiely, Paul O’Donoghue, accompanied by barrister Liz Murphy stated: “We are actively considering an appeal to the Supreme Court on a point of law and will have to view the transcript first.”

Mr O’Donoghue, himself a former Fianna Fáil councillor, said he believed issues of public interest had arisen during the hearing that needed clarification for returning officers as well as for politicians and the public.

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