Election 2016 has dealt another major blow to the Labour party as sitting Dublin Bay North TD and Junior Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin loses his seat in the last count.
Transfers from People Before Profit’s John Lyons saw independents Finian McGrath and Tommy Broughan, and Sinn Fein’s Denise Mitchell take the last three seats, joining Richard Bruton of Fine Gael and Sean Haughey of Fianna Fail as the constituency’s TDs.
Ó Ríordáin only received just under 400 votes from Lyons’ transfers, fading in comparison to over 2,000 each for Boughan and Mitchell. Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and deputy president Mary Lou McDonald joined Denise Mitchell in the RDS, alongside recently retired, long time Sinn Fein candidate Larry O’Toole.
As Oro Sé De Bheatha Bhaile rang around Simmonscourt, this win now sees Sinn Fein with 22 seats in the 32nd Dáil.
Ó Ríordáin, a former primary school principle, put on a brave face as the final count came in. He turned to his family and supporters, hugging and thanking them all.
Waiting for him next was Alan Kelly, who looked as if he has realised that the party he so long championed was on the verge of having no say in Dáil Éireann.
Labour awaits the result of the recount from Longford-Westmeath to see if Willie Penrose retains his seat there. If he does, Labour will have seven seats in the Dáil and will just qualify for speaking rights in the chamber.
By Kevin Kelly