The four newly elected Sligo Leitrim TDs Martin Kenny (SF), Marian Harkin (Ind), Fianna Fáil's Marc MacSharry and Frank Feighan (FG) described the outcome of the election as a mandate for change.
Mr MacSharry and Mr Feighan were elected on Monday night the 15th count. Outgoing Fianna Fáil TD Eamon Scanlon was in the running until the end but lost out to Mr Feighan .
In his victory Mr Kenny who topped the poll with 15,000 first preferences, said his party had been given a mandate for change right across the country and would deliver for those people stuck on hospital trolleys , and those doing long commutes to work while struggling to pay for childcare.
Ms Harkin said there had been a tsunami of Sinn Féin TDs elected as well as “an avalanche of Independents ” many of them from rural constituencies which was sending out a message that people in rural Ireland are not getting their fair share.
Speaking after his election in Sligo-Leitrim, Fianna Fáil’s Marc Marc MacSharry said he had no doubt that the party had paid a price for confidence and supply.
The election had been a bad one for the party nationally , and it was “a big surprise to see so many excellent colleagues gone,” he said. Mr MacSharry paid a special tribute to his constituency colleague Mr Scanlon saying he was “personally gutted” to see him lose out.
“Asked about the likelihood of Fianna Fáil’s going into government with Sinn Féin he said the situation was “as it was before the election” . But the parliamentary party would be sitting down at the end of the week “to have a full discussion about all matters”.
Mr MacSharry said it was going to be a challenge with such a fragmented Dáil to get agreement on a programme for government which 80 TDs would support . “I am sure nobody wants another election,” he added.
Mr Feighan said he had heard the message of the electorate “loud and clear” and the next government would have to address the many issues raised on the doorsteps.