Dublin South-Central results: Brid Smith takes final seat for AAA-PBP
Unite trade unionist says Labour ‘deserves’ its punishment at the polls
Bríd Smith of the Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit party is elected in Dublin South Central count at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times
The Labour Party deserved the battering they got in the election, Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith said as she was elected to the final seat in Dublin South-Central.
In a strongly worded victory speech, she said to “all decent trade unionists — we need now to take the Labour party out of the trade union movement”.
She pointed out her party now had the same number of TDs as the Labour Party.
Both have six, excluding consideration of Longford-Westmeath, which was still underway.
Addressing her comments at the Labour Party, Ms Smith said it had been “battered and bruised and you deserve it because of what you have done in implementing austerity water charges, property tax over the last while”.
Ms Smith, a Unite trade unionist, was speaking after deputy returning officer Alice Lanigan declared her elected, ahead of Fianna Fáil’s Catherine Ardagh, who conceded after consultations on the final figures.
Ms Ardagh had sought a recount when the 11th and final count put Ms Smith ahead by 35 votes.
The marathon re-count of 43,000 votes and consideration of disputed votes took three days.
Dublin City returning officer James Barry said in a brief statement after the count that Ms Lanigan had provided the two candidates “with a further report in relation to her decisions concerning matters that arose during the recount”.
Ms Smith said they won the seat on behalf of working-class people in the constituency and “kept Fianna Fáil out. I don’t mean any harm to Catherine Ardagh in saying that, but it is important that this remains a very strong left-wing constituency”.
She also said: “Fianna Fáil have made water a red-line issue. They better live up to it.”
Sinn Féin’s Aengus O Snodaigh, who topped the poll, Independent Joan Collins and Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne were elected, all three retaining their Dail seats.
The constituency has been reduced from five to four seats through boundary revisions. One of the two Labour outgoing TDs Michael Conaghan did not run again and Eric Byrne lost his seat, reflecting the national trend against Labour.