Almost four days to decide ‘group of death’

by Aisling Kennedy

The Dublin Bay North constituency, known as the ‘group of death’, took almost four days to complete its count with the five new sitting TDs announced late on Tuesday afternoon.
As there were five seats to be won in the constituency and 20 candidates in the running for those seats, it was always going to be one of the most long drawn out counts in Ireland.
In addition, it emerged on the first day of the count that over 150 ballot papers had not been stamped at the voting centres and this led to some of the papers being weighed to ensure that they were legitimate papers and not forgeries.
Following the last tally on Saturday afternoon it was clear that Richard Bruton and Sean Haughey were both in contention to win seats with Bruton on 13.3% of the vote and Haughey on 10.9% of the vote.
The count then began on Saturday evening and it took until count eight on Sunday afternoon for the first TD to be elected.
Outgoing TD and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton (FG) attained 13,092 votes and was deemed the first TD to be elected in the constituency.
To be elected in Dublin Bay North, each candidate had to reach the quota of 12,271 votes.
Following Richard Bruton’s election on Sunday he said: “It’s a huge honour to top the poll and be elected as a Deputy for Dublin Bay North. Thanks to family, friends and all supporters.”
On the ninth count, Terence Flanagan (Renua) was a high-profile casualty after he was eliminated with 3,488 votes.
On the 12th count for the constituency, late on Sunday evening, Averil Power (Ind) and Tommy Broughan (Ind) had 6,674 and 7,003 votes respectively.
As Power was due to be eliminated she requested a full recount.
She said: “We were only on the 13th count after two full days yesterday, so we’re not sure how long it’s going to take. But it needs to take as long as necessary to make sure the result is fair and accurate to everybody concerned, and particularly that the wishes of the people of Dublin Bay North are carried out.”
The recount began on Monday at 11am and on the 13th count, Power was eliminated.
Of her elimination she said she was “incredibly proud of that performance. I’m really grateful to the more than 7,000 people who gave me their vote and to my incredible campaign team.”
On Monday evening at around 12.30am, following the 14th count, Sean Haughey (FF) was elected a TD to Dail Eireann with 12,745 votes.
Haughey told the Gazette: “It’s always a great honour to be elected to Dail Eireann. It’s a huge responsibility but I feel really happy.
“It looks like Fianna Fail are doing quite well, I certainly picked that up when I was out canvassing in the last few days, they’re doing particularly well throughout the country. I think we’ve had a good election.”
At the time of going to print, it was announced that outgoing Minister for Drugs Aodhan O’Riordan had lost his seat on the 15th count.
The new TD’s elected following his elimination are Denise Mitchell (SF) and sitting TD’s Tommy Broughan (Ind), Finian McGrath (Ind).

Related Articles