Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone is bowing out of Irish politics after losing her seat in Dublin South West on Monday night.
She lost out after a two-day marathon on the eleventh count to Noel Francis Duffy of the Green Party and John Lahart of Fianna Fáil, who took the fourth and fifth seats respectively.
The Independent candidate, who trailed in the end by over 2,000 votes, said she was "very proud" of her work as Minister in the Fine Gael Government.
Asked if her vote had been hit by an anti-Government sentiment among voters, given that she served in Government in the last Dáil, she said it “looks like that might have been the case”.
“I do think in the earlier period of the campaign people were willing to distinguish me as an independent from Fine Gael. But I think as time went on that didn’t transpire as much.
“But at the same time I knew what I was doing when I made the decision to negotiate and form Government with a major political party and I really do believe that as a TD I had the opportunity to bring about more change within Government than outside of it and I feel very proud about that.”
She said she was going to continue her “change work” outside of Irish politics.
“I know there are some paths that will be opening for me. What I am not going to do is run for the Seanad. I had five great years as a senator. .. I am moving forward outside of politics.”
She said it was “deeply disappointing” that it seemed there would be fewer women in the next Dáil than in the outgoing one.
“We need the diversity of women in the Cabinet as well as in the Dáil,” she said.
The count in Citywest concluded shortly before 9 pm on Monday, after two recounts of two separate counts along the way. The first elected TD was Sinn Féin's Sean Crowe, who polled almost two quotas with 20,070, and almost 30 per cent, of first preferences, on Sunday afternoon.
He was followed home on Monday afternoon on the eighth count, by Paul Murphy (Solidarity-PBP/Rise). Colm Brophy was elected on the tenth count on Monday evening, with Lahart and Duffy returned on the eleventh.
Candidates: Ciarán Ahern (Lab), Carly Bailey (Soc Dem), Colm Brophy (FG), Anne Marie Condren (Renua), Seán Crowe (SF), Mick Duff (Ind), Francis Noel Duffy (GP), Philip Dwyer (The National Party), Sandra Fay (S-PBP), John Lahart (FF), Paul Murphy (Rise), Charlie O'Connor (FF), Deirdre O'Donovan (FF), Colm O'Keeffe (Ind), Ellen O'Malley Dunlop (FG), Katherine Zappone (Ind).