Mick Wallace pledges to continue campaigning following loss of seat to Ní Mhurchú

Outgoing Ireland South MEP says he was ‘demonised’ by media as Fianna Fáil’s Cynthia Ní Mhurchú takes final seat in five-seat constituency

Mick Wallace speaking to the media at the count centre after he was eliminated following the final count at Nemo Rangers GAA club, Cork, in the European elections. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Independent4Change Mick Wallace pledged to continue his campaigns for peace and a fairer Europe following his defeat in Ireland South where he lost out to Fianna Fáil’s Cynthia Ní Mhurchú for the last seat in the five-seat constituency.

The outgoing MEP expressed his gratitude to all those who voted for him in the contest which saw him finish up with 84,157 votes while he also laid at least some of the blame at the door of the mainstream media as he pledged to continue to fight for a fairer and more equal Europe.

“84,000 was an amazing tally of votes without the help of a party machine, while we were demonised by for the five years by the mainstream media that promoted our opponents – the fight for peace, an end to all war and a fairer Europe continues,” he tweeted on X.

Although he saw his vote drop from 81,741 in 2019 when he got 11.37 per cent of first preferences to 52,803 when he got just 7.67 per cent, Mr Wallace was in contention until the penultimate count having trailed Ms Ní Mhurchú until the 12th count when transfers from Aontú’s Patrick Murphy put him ahead of her.

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Ms Ní Mhurchú inched ahead with a better transfer from Sinn Féin’s Paul Gavan on the 14th count but Mr Wallace nosed back ahead with transfers from Susan Doyle of the Social Democrats. He got more than 4,700 transfers from Derek Blighe of Ireland First on the 17th count.

But the Fianna Fáil candidate got 6,235 transfers from Fine Gael’s John Mullins compared with Mr Wallace’s 1,804. She then surged ahead when she picked up 3,377 from Billy Kelleher’s surplus compared with just 223 for Mr Wallace.

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When sitting MEP Grace O’Sullivan of the Greens was eliminated, Ms Ní Mhurchú picked up 16,602 transfers to Mr Wallace’s 10,241, winning the seat for the Carlow woman.

Meanwhile, Independent Michael McNamara from Clare and Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion from Kilkenny ended up on 92,871 and 90,070 respectively.

Like Ms Ní Mhurchú they were also elected without reaching the quota of 114, 761, with Mr McNamara in debt to Mr Blighe, who supplied him with more than 8,000 transfers and Ms Funchion receiving more than 15,000 from her running mate, Paul Gavan.

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All three first-time MEPs will now join sitting MEPs Seán Kelly of Fine Gael, who booked his seat in the parliament on the first count when he exceeded the quota with 122,776 votes and Mr Kelleher of Fianna Fáil, who got over the line on the 18th count.

Ms O’Sullivan expressed disappointment that people hadn’t recognised how willing she was to listen to people that she often disagreed with in order to achieve solutions.

“The one thing I will say, from my support of my own election campaign and my history in politics, is I’ve always been someone who has gone out and met people … I’ve always sat with people, I listen, I hear their grievances or concerns and then try to find solutions that work.

“So, I think sometimes, you know, the allegations towards the Greens in general, en masse, of being disconnected or ideology, I think it’s unfair and unwarranted in my case, certainly, because I’ve always been someone who has worked with people.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times