Final seats in Ireland South remain unclear due to unpredictable transfers

Final Seats In Ireland South Remain Unclear Due To Unpredictable Transfers
The result of the second count did not see anyone elected and so Ciaran O’Riordan, on 2,485 votes, was eliminated.
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Counting continued at a steady pace in the South constituency of Ireland’s European elections after the first of 14 MEPs were elected on Monday night.

Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly became the first of five MEPs in the 10-county constituency to be elected after two days of sorting and counting at Nemo Rangers GAA Club in Co Cork.


He surpassed the quota of 114,761 with 8,000-odd votes to spare.

A group of people hoist a gentleman in a suit into the air on their shoulders.
Sean Kelly became the first MEP to be elected in Ireland’s European elections. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA.

The result of the second count did not see anyone elected and so Ciaran O’Riordan, on 2,485 votes, was eliminated.


Of Mr Kelly’s transfers, his running mate John Mullins received 2,633 votes, while Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher received 1,963 votes.

Fianna Fáil’s Cynthia Ni Mhurchu received 770 votes and Michael McNamara received 523 votes.

Several people have remarked on the erratic nature of transfers in Ireland’s European election.

An election agent with 'some craic' on their t-shirt
It may be some time before the next MEP is revealed. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA.

Returning officer Martin Harvey said he expected that candidates on the lowest number of votes will be eliminated one at a time, rather than in groups.

“Three different people will check and give their opinion on who can be eliminated, can they be eliminated together,” he said.

“We’ve an e-count system here on the computer and then the four minds are put together who’ve done the calculations, and we check to see are we all right, and I’m glad to tell you we’re always right. We always have the same answer.”


He said it would be “much later this evening” or Wednesday morning before the next candidate is elected, who is expected to be Mr Kelleher.

Man in black suit with blue tie is laughing at something out of shot. He has his hands in his pocket and his suit jacket unbuttoned
Billy Kelleher is expected to be the next candidate to be elected, though counting is still underway. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA.

Mr Harvey said that once candidates are eliminated, each count will take around an hour.


“Hard to say where second preferences are going, but I’d be very surprised if anything happened before 9pm or 10pm tonight,” he said of when the next MEP would be elected.

“I don’t see us being out of here until Thursday at lunchtime at the earliest.”

Asked whether there was a children’s fun day planned in the hall for Thursday, he gestured to the count and said: “This is a fun day.”

Mr Harvey said that some of the staff reckon the count could finish on Wednesday, and added: “If we can save the fun day, wouldn’t that be great?”

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