Independent Clare Daly has pledged to “rattle the cages of those in authority” after being elected to the European Parliament in the constituency of Dublin.
The Independents4Change TD saw off tough competition from Fianna Fail's Barry Andrews to win the third seat after a row between the two over the transfer of votes in the drawn-out count.
For too long the EU has been dominated by the military industrial complex and by corporate interests. It's time we took them on. That's why I'm running in the European Elections on 24 May. #EP2019 #EuropeanElections2019 #AnotherEuropeIsPossiblehttps://t.co/lrL3dDtKij— Clare Daly (@ClareDalyMEP) May 13, 2019
There have now been calls for the setting up of an electoral commission and for clarity around the so-called 'Brexit seats' in Europe after the election spat almost ended up in the courts.
The elimination of Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan and the transfer of over 22,000 of her votes helped push Ms Daly well clear of Mr Andrews giving her a final tally of 87,770 on the 16th and final count.
Ms Daly pledged to work on justice and climate change issues as an MEP. She also insisted she would be an “advocator” and “rattle the cages of those in authority".
Asked about the count row, she said: “What I didn't want was sort of behind-the-scenes legal manoeuvring stopping the mandate of Dublin's electorate being recognised.”
Mr Andrews, a former minister, came in fourth place with 68,952 votes, having to settle for the so-called 'cold storage' Brexit seat. The former GOAL boss will only be able to take his seat if and when Britain leaves the European Union.
Mr Andrews said he didn't “buy the narrative on being “half elected” and said he was happy to have regained a Dublin MEP seat for Fianna Fail, the first for the party in 15 years.
He also called for the setting up of an electoral commission in the wake of the row over the counting of votes from eliminated candidates.
Normally, transfers from the final elimination do not come into play as remaining candidates are deemed elected.
There had been fears the row over the distribution of Ms Boylan's transfers could see sides go to the courts. The count was suspended on Monday night and both sides took legal advice.
Mr Andrews at one stage also sought a recount of transfers from Labour’s Alex White "out of an abundance of caution".
But in the end, the disagreement was settled and returning officer Fergus Gallagher let the count go ahead and finish.
Afterwards, Mr Andrews warned that Brexit could be a “disaster” for Ireland and shouldn't be "taken for granted".
He also made the point that a total of 58 MEPs in Europe would be in the same position as him waiting for Brexit and that Brussels would have to come up with a solution.
And while he may have to wait months to get to the parliament in Strasbourg, Ms Daly will take up her position there over the summer after coming third.
Green councillor Ciaran Cuffe topped the poll in the Dublin constituency while Fine Gael TD and former Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald took the second seat.
Reflecting on the huge support for the Greens in the local and European elections, Mr Cuffe said that the voice of young voters had spoken and they were concerned about affordable housing.
“They are being priced out of housing. All they are being offered are boxes, they are being offered homes that are hours away by car,” he said after being elected.
The former minister said voters wanted to see change as he heralded "a new beginning" for the Greens.
The biggest loss in the Dublin constituency was for Sinn Fein, after Ms Boylan failed to win a seat.
The party says it will now examine why voters failed to turn up at the ballot box this time.