Fine Gael takes last two Wexford seats

Success in Wexford upped Fine Gael’s national haul to 49 seats last night, with Michael D’Arcy and Paul Kehoe taking the last two seats in the five-seat constituency.
Fine Gael takes last two Wexford seats

Mr Kehoe squeezed in just ahead of Sinn Féin’s Johnny Mythen and broke down in tears of relief.

“It’s been a really emotional day for me, my family, friends, and supporters,” he said when finally elected after a recount called by Sinn Féin.

The other three seats in the constituency were taken by Brendan Howlin (Labour) James Browne (FF), and Independent Mick Wallace.

Fine Gael’s performance in Wexford bucked the national trend.

In Dublin South West, Independent candidate Katherine Zappone was equally relieved after a recount handed her the last of five seats.

The recount was requested by Fine Gael, whose candidate, Ann Maire Dermody, was just 152 votes behind Ms Zappone.

Ms Zappone said she would like to look to “other Independent and smaller parties to see how they could co-operate” to bring the people the government they deserve.

The other four seats in the Dublin South-West constituency went to Fianna Fáil’s John Lahart, Anti-Austerity Alliance candidate Paul Murphy, Sinn Féin’s Sean Crowe, and Fine Gael’s Colm Brophy.

In Longford/Westmeath the count was continuing late last night with just one TD elected, Robert Troy (FF), and the second likely to go to Independent Alliance candidate Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.

Peter Burke of Fine Gael was in the running for the third seat, with the fourth consigned to a dogfight between Sinn Féin’s Paul Hogan, Labour’s Willie Penrose, and Fine Gael’s James Bannon.

Fianna Fáil’s Connie Gerety-Quinn, who requested a recount with just 38 votes separating her from Mr Bannon, was eliminated on count 12.

A recount in Dublin Bay North looked like continuing into today following a request by Independent candidate Averil Power for a recount. Early tallies showed the recount had reduced the gap to Independent Tommy Broughan from 67 votes to 43.

Richard Burton of Fine Gael took the first seat in the constituency with Fianna Fáil’s Sean Haughey poised to take the second of the five seats. There was little separating the remaining candidates in the fight for the other three seats, including Denise Mitchell (SF), Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Lab), Finian McGrath (Independent Alliance), John Lyons (AAA-PBP), Mr Broughan, and Ms Power.

Meanwhile, Renua leader Lucinda Creighton has said she has not thrown in the towel yet. She said there would be a period of reflection but that “we can’t be deterred by one election”.

Asked by RTÉ presenter Claire Byrne if the party was “done for”, Ms Creighton said “of course not”.

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