National update: FF and SF celebrate local-election results; Euro counts to last into tomorrow

As counting continues in the European elections, it will now be tomorrow before some of the 11 MEPs are elected.

No official result will be announced until tonight ater polling finishes across Europe. However, in the Midlands-North-West constituency a first count is not expected before tomorrow.

Counting in the three constituencies is underway with ballots being sorted and assigned to each of the candidates.

Yesterday's RTE exit poll suggests some of the seats will be straightforward, but one or two seats in each of the constituencies are too close to call.

In Midlands North West, Luke Ming Flanagan and Mairead McGuinness will take seats, with the other two a battle between Sinn Féin, the two Fianna Fáil candidates and Independent Marian Harkin.

It is suggested a first count from this constituency may not come before lunchtime tomorrow.

The South constituency will see Fianna Fáil's Brian Crowley top the poll and be elected and Liadh Ni Riada of Sinn Féin should also take a seat, with Fine Gael confident they will take two.

Brian Crowley's votes are separated out in the count centre in Nemo Rangers in Cork. Picture: Des Barry

Dublin will see Sinn Féin top the poll and Lynn Boylan elected, with the other two up for grabs between the Greens, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent Nessa Childers.

Meanwhile in the local elections Fianna Fáil now has the largest group of party-affiliated Councillors elected, followed by Sinn Féín, Fine Gael and Labour coming last.

The largest number of seats, however, has gone to Independents and Others.

Of the 949 local council seats available, 478 have been settled. The breakdown (1.40pm) is:

- Independents and Other: 127

- Fianna Fáil: 125

- Sinn Féin: 102

- Fine Gael: 98

- Labour: 26

About half of the country's new Councillors have still to be elected.

Kenneth Egan and Emer Higgins celebrate their election in Clondalkin with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. Picture: Fine Gael via twitter

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman, Niall Collins said the party's performance in the council elections was a endorsement of the leadership of Micheál Martin.

Mr Collins predicted Fianna Fáil would end the election as the biggest party in local government with up to 230 councillors.

He told the Irish Examiner's Jimmy Woulfe: "Our success in the council elections is a huge improvement for us and something we are taking a lot of satisfaction out of. (Micheál Martin) has...put a huge effort personally into this local election campaign and canvassed with every single candidate...This is a personal triump for Micheal Martin."

Mr Colllns said when all the "hype" about Sinn Féin dies down and the real analysis takes place, Fianna Fáil will be seen to be the biggest winners out this local election.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin have been celebrating their performance North and South.

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