Part 2: Election diary from Ireland
Cathal Dervan brings you the latest on the ground in Ireland
“This is an historic day for us, the first time in the history of the country that we will finish a General Election as the second biggest party in the Dail and that is something I believe we will build on now and in the future.”
Meanwhile Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams was elected on the first count in Louth, along with Fine Gael’s Fergus O’Dowd, and declared it to be a great day for his party.
“This is the people’s day and the people have voted for change and for Sinn Fein,” said Adams.
Several high profile Irish political families suffered big time in the wake of the Fianna Fail collapse when the country went to the polls on Friday as both the Haugheys and the Lenihans felt the brute force of the electorate.
The Haughey dynasty was as popular as Fianna Fail in the General Election as Sean Haughey lost his seat and the family heirloom in Dublin North Central.
Grandson of Sean Lemass and son of Charlie Haughey, Sean admitted his loss was not a surprise.
“The poor results for the party here in Dublin and across the country are not unexpected given the mistakes of the past few years,” said Haughey.
“I think core FF voters are disappointed with the way things turned out over the last four years, but it is time for renewal and a reinvigoration of the party and I’m sure that will happen in due course.
“The government had taken the right decisions since the emergence of the banking crisis, although it may not have communicated that effectively.
“The damage had really been done much earlier on, and FF should look back as far at ten years to see how it had come to this day.
“Mistakes were made. You learn and you move on and you try and gain the trust of the people again with new policies and new vision.
“However, Fianna Fáil will dust itself down and, in the words of my father we will fight, fight and fight back.”
The Lenihan family were also heavy losers despite Brian’s victory without reaching the quota for the fourth and final seat in Dublin West.
His brother Conor was well beaten in his bid to retain his Dail membership in Dublin South West while their aunt Mary O’Rourke polled less than 3,000 first preferences in Longford-Westmeath and admitted she wouldn’t be elected.
“Unfortunately we are going to lose both seats here in Dublin South West,” Conor Lenihan told RTÉ television.
“It’s not entirely a dishonorable place to be. Clearly the tide is out for Fianna Fáil in Dublin and naturally 15% is not a party that’s going places.
“There has been an avalanche of negative opinion against the party and colleagues who are defeated should not take it personally. It is not a reflection on any individual.
“I am just sorry that my colleagues didn’t move more quickly to change leader, as I had advised months before it happened.”
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