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Four MEPs elected to represent Dublin in European Parliament

Taoiseach Simon Harris TD with European Fine Gael candidate Regina Doherty after she was elected MEP for the Dublin constituency at the RDS count centre in Dublin (Gareth Chaney/PA)
Taoiseach Simon Harris TD with European Fine Gael candidate Regina Doherty after she was elected MEP for the Dublin constituency at the RDS count centre in Dublin (Gareth Chaney/PA)

Four MEPs have been elected to represent Dublin in the European Parliament as the first of Ireland’s three constituencies finished its count.

Fianna Fail’s Barry Andrews, Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty, Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan and Labour’s Aodhan O Riordain all confirmed their places in Brussels after three days of counting at the RDS centre in Dublin.

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Simon Harris, Tanaiste and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald and Labour leader Ivana Bacik were all in attendance to congratulate their candidates after the outcome of the 19th and final count was announced.

Mr Harris said he was “absolutely delighted” that Ms Doherty had been elected and thanked the Dublin electorate.

He said: “She has worked so hard, she deserves this, I’m so proud of her and of course she’s going to continue an incredible tradition of Fine Gael people representing Dublin in the European Parliament.”

Mr Martin said he was “absolutely delighted” to see Mr Andrews re-elected to the European Parliament, and said that he “led from the front”.

European and local elections
European Fianna Fail candidate Barry Andrews celebrates his election (Gareth Chaney/PA).

He added: “But it was the positivity of the message but also the fact that the perception on the doorsteps was that it was a serious public representative who had represented the country well in a distinguished way in the European Parliament for the past five years.”

The four winning candidates were all elected when Independent Ireland candidate Niall Boylan became the last to be eliminated in the closely fought contest.

Only one other MEP has so far been elected in Ireland – Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly in Ireland South.

European and local elections
European Labour candidate Aodhan O Riordain TD was elected MEP for the Dublin constituency (Gareth Chaney/PA).

That count, and the count in the Midlands-North-West constituency, could extend for several more days before reaching conclusion.

In Ireland’s local elections battle, Fianna Fail edged just ahead of Fine Gael on Tuesday evening with 246 seats to 245, with only a handful of 949 seats left to declare.

In a landmark poll in Limerick for Ireland’s first directly elected mayor, independent candidate John Moran secured victory late on Tuesday afternoon.

John Moran speaking to the media after he was elected
John Moran has made history as Ireland’s first directly elected mayor (Niall Carson/PA)

Results emerging from the three elections, which were held last Friday, have provided a political fillip for coalition partners Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, while Sinn Fein has initiated a review after performing well below the party’s own expectations.

Both main Government parties attracted around 23% of first preference votes, while Sinn Fein trailed in on 12% – a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the main opposition party which emerged from the 2020 general election winning the popular vote on 24.5%.

While the European picture is still incomplete, the election results to date have fuelled speculation that the coalition may look to call a general election earlier than the current projected timeline of spring 2025.

However, the leaders of all three coalition parties – Mr Harris, Mr Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan – have all insisted they remain committed to the current government going full term.

For her part, Sinn Fein leader Ms McDonald, who is now facing questions over her stewardship of the party, struck a defiant tone on Monday night as she urged Mr Harris to “bring it on” and call an early election.

European and local elections
European Sinn Fein candidate Lynn Boylan following being elected MEP for the Dublin constituency (Gareth Chaney/PA).

Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly became the first MEP elected in Ireland, taking the first of five seats in the Ireland South constituency on Monday night.

Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher is in place to take the second seat, but the final three seats are considered too close to call.

Independent TD Michael McNamara and Fianna Fail candidate and 1994 Eurovision host Cynthia Ni Mhurchu are well placed.

Outgoing MEP Mick Wallace, Sinn Fein TD Kathleen Funchion and the Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan also look to be in the race for a seat.

The returning officer expects the count in Cork to extend into Thursday.

The Midlands-North-West constituency saw the first count conclude late on Monday night, as officials grappled with the arduous process of whittling down 27 candidates vying for five seats.

Independent incumbent MEP Luke “Ming” Flanagan emerged as the frontrunner after topping the poll.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan speaking to the media
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan speaking to the media (Niall Carson/PA)

He was still leading the pack after eight counts on Tuesday. Next was Fine Gael’s first-time candidate and former jockey Nina Carberry, who was narrowly ahead of Fianna Fail’s Barry Cowen.

If the race stays as it currently stands, Maria Walsh will also be returning to Strasbourg as an MEP for Fine Gael in the fourth seat.

The fifth and final seat looks set to be taken by Independent Ireland candidate and former RTE correspondent Ciaran Mullooly, meaning Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew, who was her party’s main hope of retaining a seat in the constituency, is likely to miss out if she does not receive favourable transfers.

Candidates have predicted the count in Castlebar could go on for several days before the results are confirmed.