Criticism of ‘daft’ plan for local and European election vote count

Dublin ballots to be taken to from polling centres to RDS, separated and then counted at Citywest

The counting of votes from the Dublin region in the local and European elections could take three days because of the “daft” way ballot papers will be transported and separated beforehand, a council meeting has heard.

A meeting of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council was on Monday night told the elections, and a divorce referendum, would take place on Friday May 24th.

The councillors heard that on the Saturday the ballot boxes from the Dublin region would be taken to the RDS in Ballsbridge where the votes will be separated into three categories - local votes, European votes and referendum votes.

Once the votes are separated they will be be taken from the RDS to the Citywest Conference Centre for counting, which is expected to get underway on Saturday evening. The counting of votes in the European elections will not get underway until the Sunday.


Mary Daly, an administrator with the council, said 4pm to 5pm was only an estimate and that she would not be held to that timetable as it was the responsibility of the county sheriff to make the arrangements for the collection of the votes before counting.

Ms Daly told the councillors she agreed with their concerns that the boxes should go directly to Citywest where the votes could be counted at the same venue as where they were separated.

“I absolutely agree with you and I have made my views known to the sheriff. But it is a matter for the sheriff, I don’t have the power,” she said.

Cllr Denis O’Callaghan (Labour) said the situation was ridiculous.

“We could be there three days in Citywest. This is absolutely daft. Somebody needs to get a hold of this,” he said.

Cllr Lettie McCarthy (Labour) said she was “sure the sheriff would change his mind” if the views of the council were made known.

A motion calling for the votes in the upcoming elections to be taken directly to Citywest for separation and counting was passed unanimously by the council.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist