The Green’s Ossian Smyth, the first Dun Laoghaire TD elected, got in on the sixth count saying he was “overcome” and “overwhelmed” to have secured his seat.
In addition to support from first-time voters, he said he “definitely got votes from older people who told me their children or grandchildren asked them to vote Green”.
He said he felt he had been elected on his record as a councillor. “It comes down to a lot of spade work. I hope I would have been elected without a green wave.”
Clearly keen to play a part in the formation of the next Dáil he said there were no “untouchables” as far as his party was concerned and said Sinn Féin had already been in touch.
“We don’t consider any party untouchable we respect the mandate they got from their electorate so we are going to speak to everybody. We may not be in government but we’re certainly willing to see if we can form one.”
Outgoing People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, despite topping the poll, did not take his seat until the seventh count, but said he was “chuffed” the electorate had again put its trust in him.
“I think it has been a very important election. Things are moving, the tectonic plates are shifting away from the two big parties. There’s a real appetite for progressive change and I’m confident that our vote this time is part of a rising tide for the left.”
‘Break the cycle’
This was particularly evident in the huge transfer he got from Sinn Féin when Shane O’Brien was eliminated.
“I think it really resonated that there was a possibility to break the cycle of Fianna Fáil and to have a left alternative and that has gone to Sinn Féin, to us, to other forces on the left and the important thing is to keep that momentum going and I’m very confident that is going to happen.”
The big surprise in Dun Laoghaire was the loss of Fine Gael Mary Mitchell O’Connor, outgoing Minister for State for Higher Education.
While the party was never going to retain its three seats with former Comhairle Sean Barrett not retiring and Maria Bailey deselected, Mitchell O’Connor had been considered safe.
However, she was behind running mate Jennifer Carroll MacNeill since the morning tallies and it was Carroll MacNeill who took the seat on the last count without reaching the quota.
Candidates: Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG), Jennifer Carroll MacNeill (FG), Barry Ward (FG), Ossian Smyth (GP), Richard Boyd Barrett (S-PBP), Cormac Devlin (FF), Mary Hanafin (FF), Shane O’Brien (SF), Juliet O’Connell (Lab), Dave Quinn (Soc Dem), Maireád Tóibín (Aontú), John Waters (Ind), Con Óg Ó Laoghaire (Irish Freedom Party)