Hayes and Childers join Boylan in Dublin; Ryan demands recount

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has demanded a recount after a dramatic night of vote counting in the RDS overnight.

It comes after Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan, Fine Gael's Brian Hayes and independent candidate Nessa Childers took the three seats in Dublin.

The recount will start at 2pm this afternoon.

Hayes and Childers joined Boylan after the seventh count in the RDS early this morning, after Mary Fitzpatrick of Fianna Fáil was eliminated in the fifth count.

The Sinn Féin candidate had earlier been elected on the third count at the RDS last night.

The Green Party leader ended up with 72,256 votes, 1,342 behind Childers who had 73,598 votes.

Hayes ended up with 73,405 votes.

Counting will resume in Cork and Castlebar this morning as efforts to elect four MEP's in Ireland South and Midlands North West continues.

Approximately 680,000 ballot papers are being counted by 260 people in Cork.

This is Ireland's largest constituency - made up of 10 counties - all of Munster and the four most southern counties in Leinster.

Fianna Fáil's Brian Crowley from Cork is hotly tipped to top the poll here, and is widely expected to exceed the quota in the first count which is estimated to be around 136,000.

Sinn Féin's Liadh Ni Riada is also is also polling well and if the exit poll is to be believed she will take the second seat.

The third seat looks likely to go to Fine Gael's Sean Kelly from Kerry - the fourth and final seat will be a battle.

Though initial figures from an RTE exit poll suggested that the Fine Gael duo of Deirdre Clune from Cork and Simon Harris of Wicklow would fight it out - estimates from some of the parties last night suggest that The Green Party's Grace O'Sullivan and Fianna Fáil's second candidate Kieran Hartley - both from Waterford -could still be in with a chance based on possible transfers.

Brian Crowley has traditionally attracted a personal vote but he reckons there's a certain amount of party transfer up for grabs.

Counting resumes this morning at 9am with the first result expected before lunchtime.

Counting will also continue of the 670,000 ballots in the Midlands North West constituency.

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan is favourite to take top spot, with Mairead McGuinness expected to retain her seat.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin candidates and Independent Marian Harkin will be fighting for the last two seats.

The Taoiseach has conceded that Jim Higgins is unlikely to keep his seat, saying: "Jim Higgins has been an outstanding and committed member of Fine Gael for many years. While votes haven't been counted, it looks as if Jim is going to be in difficulty here…I thank him for his services to his party and country."

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