Clare results: Sinn Féin performance claims two high-profile casualties

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil lose out as constituency elects first Sinn Féin TD since 1922

Previous Fianna Fáil poll topper in Clare, Timmy Dooley loses seat.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Previous Fianna Fáil poll topper in Clare, Timmy Dooley loses seat. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The Sinn Féin performance that blew across the country claimed two high profile electoral casualties in Clare.

Former Fine Gael junior minister, Pat Breen blamed the “Sinn Féin storm” and continuing problems at the A&E at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) as the reasons that he has lost his seat Clare.

Speaking at the Clare count at the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon after his elimination, Mr Breen stated that “the Sinn Féin storm out there blew me off course”.

At the end of the final count, the only incumbent left standing after the Sinn Féin surge was the widely written off Joe Carey (FG) after securing a seat for the 4th election in a row.

Along with Mr Breen, high profile Fianna Fåil TD, Timmy Dooley also lost out as former Labour TD, Michael McNamara made an “against the odds” electoral comeback as an independent to be the first to make the quota.

However, it was Sinn Féin winning its first seat in Clare since 1922 after a stellar first time out performance by mother of five and TCD graduate, Violet Anne Wynne that was dominating everyone’s thoughts.

Newly elected TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) stated that his seat win was bitter-sweet as Timmy Dooley had lost out.

He stated: “Violet Anne Wynne – what a great achievement. That was a seat win none of us saw coming whatsoever and that has been replicated across the country.”

Fianna Fáil secured 34 per cent of the first preference votes and Deputy Crowe stated: “I more than anyone wanted two seats delivered. I consider myself a real party man, there is green blood in my veins and I am absolutely sad and I’m in disbelief that two seats weren’t secured.”

Deputy Crowe stated that his igniting of the RIC controversy last month was not done for political gain” but admitted that his move probably did “no harm” to his electoral chances.

Newly elected Deputy Wynne stated that she was “delighted” after securing her seat. She said: “I am really, really pleasantly surprised.”

Deputy Wynne stated that the issue of the IRA didn’t come up once on the doorsteps during the campaign.

She stated: “The Good Friday agreement was in 1998. I joined the party in 2012. I’m about the future and that is what is important to me.”

Candidates: Pat Breen (FG), Joe Carey (FG), Martin Conway (FG), Timmy Dooley (FF), Rita McInerney (FF), Cathal Crowe (FF), Violet-Anne Wynne (SF), Róisín Garvey (GP), Theresa O’Donohue (PBP), Conor O’Brien (Renua), Michael Leahy (Irish Freedom Party), Michael McNamara (Ind), Joseph Woulfe (Ind), Trudy Ann Leyden (Ind), David Barrett (Ind).