Dublin count delayed as count staff find extra ballot papers

The first count for the European Parliament in Dublin has been delayed by the discovery of some extra ballot papers.

It is understood that five boxes of European ballot papers, which were sorted yesterday, were found unopened by RDS count staff this evening.

A first count was expected between 6pm and 7pm, but it has been delayed as a result of the efforts to sort the extra boxes of papers, and add them to the previous totals.

However, they remain on track for a first count declaration tonight.

An announcement of first results in the European elections looks like being delayed in the Ireland South and the Midlands North West constituencies, too.

Candidates vying for the 11 MEP seats had been hoping for some results at 10pm tonight when the polls close across Europe.

Midlands North West signalled pretty early that it would be at least lunchtime tomorrow before they have a first count declaration.

Now it is being suggested that Ireland South may too need until tomorrow to announce first results and may suspend counting at 11pm.

All candidates are anxiously awaiting the first counts to see where they stand - especially as transfers will be key and tallies have been sporadic.

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