Wicklow count: Andrew Doyle (FG), Pat Casey (FF) take last two seats

Renua Ireland’s Billy Timmins loses seat meaning Dáil wipeout for Creighton’s party

Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Pat Casey has taken  a seat for the party in Wicklow. Photograph: Carl O’Brien.

Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Pat Casey has taken a seat for the party in Wicklow. Photograph: Carl O’Brien.

 

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have won the final two seats in Wicklow, while Renua has lost its last remaining Dáil deputy.

Following the 10th count, Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle TD was deemed to be re-elected without reaching the quota, along with Fianna Fail’s Cllr Pat Casey.

Renua Ireland’s Billy Timmins TD had earlier been involved in a three-way battle for the final two seats, but drifted out of contention as the count wore on.

Labour TD Anne Ferris became the latest casualty for the party earlier on Sunday, when she was eliminated after lagging well behind the frontrunners from the outset.

The story of the constituency, however, was the poll-topping performance by Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly.

He was elected on the first count in Wicklow with 14,348 first preference votes, or 21 per cent of the vote.

Sinn Féin Cllr John Brady became his party’s first TD in Wicklow in almost 100 years after being elected on the second count.

Fine Gael TD and Minister of State Simon Harris also retained his seat in the same count.

Both reached the quota, on the strength of transfers from Mr Donnelly.

Mr Donnelly’s poll-topping performance, meanwhile, represents a major increase over the last general election, when he scraped the last seat by a small margin of votes over Mr Brady.

Speaking after his election, Mr Donnelly said the new party was open to coalition talks, but only if potential partners were prepared to “take the country in a new direction”.

Mr Donnelly added: “If it’s just about propping up the government to maintain the stays quo, then there’s no point having the conversation.”

Minister of State Simon Harris said he would not rule out a coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

While he said his party was still digesting the poll results, it was his preference that political parties and elected representatives would come to “some arrangement” rather than returning to the country.

“I don’t think it would be sensible to rule anything out,” he said, when asked if a Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition was on the cards.

John Brady of Sinn Féin said his large vote was testament to the party’s long-standing campaigning on issues such as housing and jobs.

Pat Casey of Fianna Fáil, a Glendalough-based hotelier, said he was delighted to win back a seat in the constituency for the party, and paid tribute to the work of his campaign team across the constituency.