European election results: All Irish MEPs elected as final four seats decided in Midlands-North-West

Barry Cowen, Maria Walsh, Nina Carberry and Ciarán Mullooly set for Brussels as European election count concludes

Taoiseach Simon Harris with Nina Carberry and Maria Walsh at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar, on Thursday evening. Photograph: Conor McKeown/PA Wire

The last four seats in the Midlands-North-West constituency were filled overnight after marathon counting for the European elections came to a conclusion.

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen was elected on the 20th count, in the early hours of Friday morning, having received over 26,000 transfers from running mate Lisa Chambers.

“[I’m] thrilled to have set out to win a seat, delighted to have done so, look forward to the role, look forward to honoring the commitments that I’ve made to the public, working with my colleagues in my own party, and all parties, in an effort to ensure that this country gets the sort of representation that it deserves in Europe,” he said, speaking to reporters after his election.

The final seats in Midlands-North-West were filled by Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh, a sitting MEP, her running mate Nina Carberry and Ciarán Mullooly of Independent Ireland in the early hours of Friday morning.

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The three were deemed elected without reaching the quota of 113,325 following the distribution of poll-topper Luke “Ming” Flanagan’s surplus of votes after he surpassed the quota on the 19th count, to win a third term as MEP. He received a huge bulk of transfers from Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín after his elimination.

Standing beside Mr Cowen, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he disagreed that Fianna Fáil’s decision to run three candidates in the constituency was flawed. “If you look at the other parties and so on, it’s pretty clear that even if we had two candidates that may not have broken down,” he said.

He played down the significance of perceived infighting in the party during the election campaign, including Niall Blaney’s claim that he did not receiving the same level of support from the party as his running mates.

“I’m experienced enough to know that there was always a degree of tensions [during elections] not just in the Fianna Fáil party but in different parties,” he said. “We’ll work on that.”

Mr Mullooly, a first-time candidate and former RTÉ correspondent, was elected at the expense of Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew.

Speaking to reporters after his election, Mr Mullooly expressed pride at his election success: “It was certainly a bit nerve wracking. But we knew we had that outstanding first preference vote right across the constituency from the east to the west.”

He said that the support of his party Independent Ireland and TD Michael Fitzmaurice was critical to his success in the polls.

Responding to criticisms of Independent Ireland’s stance on climate change, Mr Mullooly said that it was “clear” he wasn’t “anti-green”, or “a climate change denier”.

He said that there are lots of communities across the midlands and west “who are prepared to do their best in terms of improving and helping the environment, but we have to give people the infrastructure and a proper term of just transition”.

Ms Walsh said: “I’m really proud and honoured to be returned to the European Parliament.”

Ms Carberry said: “I wouldn’t be here without the voters, thank you for believing in me. I am ready to work.”

Sinn Féin’s Chris MacManus in MNW became the fifth sitting MEP to lose his seat, alongside Ms O’Sullivan, Independent Clare Daly, Mr Cuffe and Mr Wallace.

“Me and my team worked as hard as we could over the last number of weeks during the actual campaign,” he said, adding that it will be important after the election “to listen to what people have said to us on the doorsteps”.

Earlier, on Thursday evening, barrister and former Eurovision host Cynthia Ní Mhurchú took the final seat in Ireland South and second seat for Fianna Fáil there as outgoing Independents 4 Change MEP Mick Wallace lost his seat.

Independent Michael McNamara was also elected alongside Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion to join Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly and Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher.

There were further political exits, as sitting MEP Grace O’Sullivan lost her seat in what was another blow for the Green Party after the loss of Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe.

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist