The latest news on the Irish General Election
Wicklow now won’t return a TD until Tuesday where outgoing Fianna Fail Minister Dick Roche was accused of wasting time and money after he demanded in a last effort to reclaim his seat.
Roche was just three votes behind his party colleague Pat Fitzgerald when he was eliminated after the 13th count and because of the narrow margin between them he was entitled to call for a full recount which was granted.
The Roche application has been questioned by Sinn Fein contender John Brady who said he did not believe Roche is still in contention for one of the five seats in Wicklow.
“It is his democratic right to call for a recount but this is a face-saving exercise and a final kicking of the people from an outgoing minister before he leaves power,” said Brady.
“Because many of the count staff work for Wicklow County Council, the recount will bring the county to a standstill on Monday.”
Fine Gael candidate Simon Harris said Roche’s decision was disappointing and represents a significant waste of resources.
That Wicklow recount won’t start until Monday morning with the first result in the constituency not expected until Tuesday morning at the earliest.
The Fianna Fail curse in the 2011 General Election hit Mary Hanafin as Scrap Saturday was followed by a shocking Sunday for the outgoing Government.
Hanafin, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport in the last Dail, was the latest big name casualty as vote counting wound down across the country.
People Before Profit candidate Richard Boyd Barrett ousted Hanafin on the 11th count in Dun Laoghaire without reaching the quota.
“This is the start of a new political era in Ireland and we will build on it,” pledged community activity Boyd Barrett after finally making it to the Dail after several failed election attempts.
Hanafin has refused to retire from politics despite her treatment at the polls.
“Politics is in my blood and public service is in my bones, so I certainly see myself continuing in some role,” said the former Minister
“People on the doorsteps made it very clear to me that this was an anti-Fianna Fail stance they were taking and nothing personal.
“I do believe we can rebuild the party but I am worried that we only have one TD in Dublin and the fact that we have no women in the new Dail at all is a real worry.”
Don’t fret too much for the government ministers kicked out of Dail Eireann by an angry electorate – they will still pick up a handsome goodbye check from their time in Leinster House.
Those Fianna Fail and Green ministers who lost their portfolio and seats can still pick up anything up to $120,000 in golden handshakes.
Under 1992 legislation introduced all ex-ministers get severance payments for two years as compensation for the loss of a ministerial salary.
Fine Gael want to abolish the payments but can’t do so before the likes of Mary Coughlan, Mary Hanafin and Pat Carey claim severance payments worth in or around €88,000 each.
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