Shropshire Star

‘Marvellous feeling’: New MEPs celebrate Dublin victories

Four MEPs have been elected to represent Dublin in the European Parliament as the first of Ireland’s three constituencies finished its count.

Taoiseach Simon Harris with successful candidate Regina Doherty

It was a “bloody marvellous feeling” to top the poll in Dublin, newly elected MEP Regina Doherty has said.

She finished ahead of Fianna Fail’s Barry Andrews, Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan and Labour’s Aodhan O Riordain as the four were announced as the next European representatives for the constituency.

After her election at the RDS count centre in Dublin, Ms Doherty said: “We’ve had a really renewed sense of energy in the last couple of months.

Barry Andrews is hoisted into the air following his election
Barry Andrews was hoisted into the air following his election (Gareth Chaney/PA)

“And it’s not just because the Taoiseach has it, he has made us all believe in ourselves and instil a new energy so that we go that extra mile.”

Speaking at her side, party leader and Taoiseach Simon Harris said he was “absolutely delighted”, and added: “She has worked so hard, she deserves this, I’m so proud of her and of course she’s going to continue an incredible tradition of Fine Gael people representing Dublin in the European Parliament.”

Also “absolutely delighted” was Fianna Fail leader and Tanaiste Micheal Martin, who commented: “Tremendous performance by Barry (Andrews), he led from the front, a very positive campaign.”

For his part, Mr Andrews said he was “hugely relieved” as the results came in after 10pm on Tuesday.

“I am very excited to start the work in Brussels. I have a very positive mandate now from the people of Dublin to do the work.”

Ms Boylan admitted that she was “exhausted” but added that she was “absolutely overwhelmed” by the support she received.

While Sinn Fein leadership has acknowledged the elections went worse than expected, Ms Boylan was insistent that the party had a “positive” result – after electing an MEP in Dublin and increasing its representation in local government.

Aodhan O Riordain commiserates with outgoing Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe
Aodhan O Riordain commiserates with outgoing Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe (Gareth Chaney/PA)

She said: “How is it a bad election when we’re the party that increased its vote? Fianna Fail and Fine Gael decreased their vote.

“They decreased their number of councillors. We’ve increased our vote, we’ve increased our number of councillors.”

Mr O Riordain said the result shows that the Labour Party is “back”.

Speaking to reporters at the RDS, he said: “We’re back and we’re going to win even more when the general election comes into focus.”

Lynn Boylan is lifted in the air as she celebrates her election
Lynn Boylan was insistent that Sinn Fein had a good election (Gareth Chaney/PA)

Party leader Ivana Bacik said Mr O Riordain’s team ran “a positive, dynamic and energetic” campaign.

Mr O Riordain overtook radio presenter and Independent Ireland candidate Niall Boylan in the final count which saw the redistribution of Ciaran Cuffe’s votes, after the Green Party candidate became the second MEP in Dublin to lose their seat.

Mr Cuffe’s elimination after the 18th count came one stage after Independents 4 Change candidate Clare Daly exited the race.

Reflecting on the loss of his seat, Mr Cuffe suggested the issue of migration had dominated the European election campaign over concerns about the climate.

He said: “I think we have seen the rise of those voices who don’t feel the state should be involved in helping the most vulnerable and I think I certainly have campaigned all my life to help the most vulnerable in society. I’ll continue to do that and my party will continue to do that.”

Independents 4 Change candidate Clare Daly, wearing a T-shirt saying 'Free Assange', on her way out of the count centre at the RDS in Dublin
Independents 4 Change candidate Clare Daly on her way out of the count centre at the RDS in Dublin (Gareth Chaney/PA)

Earlier, Ms Daly insisted she had no interest in speaking to the media as she left the Dublin count centre after losing her seat as an MEP.

Several reporters asked Ms Daly to comment as she left the RDS count centre after being eliminated. She declined.

When approached by RTE, she said: “You had no interest in talking to me for five years, so I’ve no interest in talking to you.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.