Election results complete: Two South East MEPs elected for Ireland South

Election results complete: Two South East MEPs elected for Ireland South
Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher celebrates as Tánaiste and party leader Micheál Martin looks on. Photo: PA Images

The election results are compalte and two South East MEPs have been elected for Ireland South in the European Parliament.

Kilkenny's Kathleen Funchion and Carlow's Cynthia Ní Mhurcú are celebrating this morning after becoming elected as MEPs.

They were selected late last night in Ireland South after five days of counting.

They will join Seán Kelly who was elected on Monday and Billy Kelleher in Brussels next month.


Current MEP, Wexford's Mick Wallace, has finished in 6th. He will not take a seat in Brussels as a results.

A days-long marathon election count has come to a close with the election of three MEPs in the final constituency to declare.

Fianna Fáil has doubled its presence in the European Parliament, with Fine Gael on four seats – down one from its previous showing in 2019.

Sinn Féin has increased its European representation from one to two, while Labour holds one seat, the Independent Ireland party claimed one and two non-party aligned independents fill the remaining seats.


In the early hours of Friday morning, Midlands-North-West elected Fine Gael’s Nina Carberry and Maria Walsh, as well as Independent Ireland candidate and former RTÉ correspondent Ciaran Mullooly.

It followed shortly after the election of Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen, while left-wing independent Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan was the first candidate over the line in the constituency on Thursday.

It was the last constituency to declare in the European Parliament elections.

European and local elections
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan celebrates his election at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar (Conor McKeown/PA)

Speaking to reporters, Mr Cowen said: “It now matters that we don the green jersey and ensure we live up to the expectations and commitments that have been given to the public.”

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.”

Mr Mullooly said: “I hope that my election brings forward another wake up call for the work that has to be done in the regeneration of our communities.”

Ireland South elected Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly, independent Michael McNamara, and Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion, as well as Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher and Cynthia Ní Mhurchú.

Dublin selected Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews, Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty and Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Five MEPs have lost their seats throughout the entire process: Sinn Féin’s Chris MacManus, Greens Grace O’Sullivan and Ciaran Cuffe, and independents Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

European and local elections
Mick Wallace at the count centre after he was eliminated (Brian Lawless/PA)

Voters headed to the polls last Friday to pick 949 local councillors, 14 MEPs and the country’s first directly elected mayor in Limerick.

Results from the three elections have been seen as a political boon for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, while Sinn Féin has initiated a review after performing well below its own expectations.

Fianna Fáil has emerged as the largest party in local government after all council seats were filled.

European and local elections
Tánaiste Micheál Martin (centre) with Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher and Cynthia Ní Mhurchú (Brian Lawless/PA)

In the local elections, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael attracted around 23 per cent of first preference votes, representing a slight drop on their 2019 result.

Fianna Fáil had 248 seats on councils, with Fine Gael close behind on 245. Sinn Féin was on 102 while 186 seats were held by independents.

Sinn Féin has increased its share of councillors, but party leader Mary Lou McDonald has admitted the result fell below their expectations.

The popular vote of 12 per cent is a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the party, which emerged from the 2020 general election on 24.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Labour is down one to 56 councillors, the Green Party’s support fell to 26 council seats while the Social Democrats’ share rose to 35.

The number of Independent councillors has also increased.

European and local elections
Taoiseach Simon Harris with Nina Carberry and Maria Walsh at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar (Conor McKeown/PA)

Fianna Fáil will be tied with Fine Gael in terms of political representation at the European Parliament, despite the latter ending the elections with one fewer seat.

Sinn Féin has also increased its share of MEPs, and is hopeful for an additional seat through Ms Gildernew.

The results have fuelled speculation that the Government may look to call a general election earlier than the current projected timeline of spring 2025.

However, the leaders of the Coalition parties, Mr Harris, Mr Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, have all insisted they remain committed to the Government doing the full term.

European and local elections
Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan (Gareth Chaney/PA)

For her part, Sinn Féin leader Ms McDonald, who is facing questions over her stewardship of the party, has struck a defiant tone, urging Mr Harris to “bring it on” and call an early election.

With the election of TDs to the European Parliament, there will be a need for several by-elections in the coming six months.

That has added to speculation that the Government may seek an earlier general election, rather than fighting several potential by-elections only months before the Dáil is dissolved.

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Simon Harris travelled to Castlebar to congratulate Ms Carberry and Ms Walsh on their expected confirmation as MEPs.

Mr Harris said he and the other Coalition leaders had not had a discussion on the holding of by-elections, adding: “I certainly don’t fear by-elections.”

Asked about the fact that Fine Gael will be down by one seat by the end of the election, he said the party will review its strategy.

Elsewhere, in a landmark poll in Limerick for the State’s first directly elected mayor, independent candidate John Moran secured victory late on Tuesday afternoon.

By Cillian Sherlock, PA

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