By Conor Kane
Former Fianna Fáil minister of state Martin Mansergh has described the national picture for his party as an improvement on recent years.
“I suppose the result consolidates a stabilisation of the party’s position,” he said at the Tipperary count.
“It has come up off the floor, to somewhere in the low 20s. While we might like to be much further forward than we are, if we can be politicially realistic about it, it’s not too bad a result.”
A former adviser on Northern Ireland to successive taoisigh during years of Peace Process negotiations, he had this warning for critics of Sinn Féin and its leader.
“If various authorities want to boost Sinn Féin further, they will take Gerry Adams in for questioning in a few more days.”
Independent TD Mattie McGrath, who ran two candidates under his banner in the Clonmel-Cahir electoral area, said he was “delighted” with the performance of Martin Lonergan and said Richie Molloy is “very transfer-friendly” and not out of the race in Clonmel.
“Five years ago he was gone home to bed and we had to wake him up," he recalled. "My daughter went and minded the kids for him and he came back down and got elected."
The independent TD said the poor performance of the government parties was down to “the two As - austerity and arrogance”.
He said: "The wheels have fallen off the Labour Party wagon", thanks to its merger with Democratic Left.
“They’ve hijacked Labour and now they’ve banjaxed it and the wheels have come off," he said.
The final tally in Tipperary, pending official counts, put Fine Gael on 26%, Fianna Fáil on 24%, Labour on 8%, Sinn Féin on 10%, “Lowry Independents” on 12%, and other independents on 20%.