Labour's Hannigan tops Meath East poll


Labour’s Dominic Hannigan and Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty and Shane McEntee have been elected in Meath East on the fourth and final count.

Mr Hannigan was the only candidate to exceed the quota, with a final vote of 12,382.

Votes were evenly divided between the two Fine Gael candidates,  with a final vote of 10,447 and 10,143 respectively.

Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne, who entered the Dáil in 2007, has lost his seat, despite receiving something of a late surge from transfers from running mate Nick Killian who was eliminated on the second count.

Both Ms Hannigan and ms Doherty unsuccessfully contested the election in 2007. Mr Hannigan was subsequently elected to the Senate.

Within an hour of ballot boxes opening this morning, the shape of the new Meath East constituency seemed certain, with the three poll-toppers far ahead of the other six candidates.

Fianna Fáil won two of the three seats in 2007, with Mary Wallace topping the poll and first-time candidate Mr Byrne coming second. Mr Mc Entee, who was first elected to the Dáil in the 2005 byelection, won the third seat in 2007.

With Fianna Fáil facing a battle to retain a seat in neighbouring Meath West, Co Meath now faces the prospect of having no Fianna Fáil TDs for the first time since the foundation of the party in the 1920's.