Election quotes: ‘Democracy is always exciting but it is merciless when it clicks in’

Paudie Coffey tells trolls to ‘piss off’ and stand themselves and ‘see if you’ll do any better’

The count to the 2016 election has been full of shocks, sea changes and seismic shifts in Irish politics. Here are some of the headline grabbing quotes.


“Democracy is always exciting but it is merciless when it clicks in.” – Taoiseach Enda Kenny commenting on a difficult election for Fine Gael.

“I don’t, at this point, see the Labour Party being involved in government.” – Labour Party leader Joan Burton accepts her party’s fate.

“We did the country a service by putting the country first five years ago. They now need to put the country first . . . There’s very little between the two of them. They should come together and coalesce. The people expect it. The people voted for that.” – Alan Kelly on the prospect of a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition.

“Some of the smart alecs above in Dublin might have been picking on me before, but they might have to pick through him first to get to me.”– Michael Healy-Rae settling scores on RTÉ after he and his brother Danny were both elected in Kerry.

“Renua Ireland is a party for the future. We will work on the results we had. We had some very good results in a number of constituencies” – Party leader Lucinda Creighton refuses to throw in the towel after her party fails to win or even retain any of its Dáil seats.

“I know what Lazarus felt like” – Independent Maureen O’Sullivan after finding out she scraped into the final seat in Dublin Central.

“We’re the first party ever to lose all its seats in the Dáil and come back. It’s a story that money isn’t everything and the power of an idea works.” – Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

“We advised our people to get down the posters and hide them away because they could be back again very, very soon.” – Gerry Adams displays his pragmatism.

“We bucked the national trend to come in with in excess of 32 per cent in a day that has been a particularly black day for Fine Gael nationally”– Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan gives a candid assessment of the broader picture following his election in Laois.

“We came into Government five years ago and put in place a plan to rescue the country and that meant stabilising the economy . . . whether we did that on the back of people without telling them there was a vision, there was a future is something we have reflect on.” – Jerry Buttimer reflects on chances missed after losing his seat in Cork.

“Remember that ad at the beginning of their campaign, ‘Don’t let Fianna Fáil come back to haunt you’. Well, we’re back.” – Former Fianna Fáil minister Conor Lenihan on Fine Gael’s campaigning and his party’s successes.

“I’d say, let’s put it to an ardfheis, Micheál, and let’s listen to the members.”– Éamon Ó Cuív discusses a hypothetical conversation with his party leader on teaming up with Fine Gael.

“Very soon the people of Ireland will miss the Labour Party in government and it saddens me to say that but I think that’s a reality.”– Ged Nash following his defeat in Louth.

“To all the trolls and abusers on social media who like to personally attack politicians you can go piss off now and think about standing yourself as a candidate to see if you’ll do any better” – Former Fine Gael minister of state Paudie Coffey, reacts to his defeat on social media.