‘It Could End Up In The Courts’


Last night

RDS count centre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

The Dublin count of the European Election was suspended following a dispute over transfers between candidates Independents4Change Clare Daly (top centre) and Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews (above) and will resume at 11am.

Green Party’s Ciaran Cuffe and Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald have already been elected in Dublin. Brexit means Dublin gets an additional MEP  and whoever wins between Mr Andrews and Ms Daly would only become a full MEP after Britain’s withdrawal.

Part of the disagreement centred on whether [Sinn Fein MEP] Ms [Lynn] Boylan’s vote should be distributed after [Soc Dem[ Mr [Gary] Gannon – something Ms Daly argued was “very clear” under new legislation and, she contended, was an approach being followed in the Ireland South constituency, which also has a Brexit seat.

That dispute has raised further questions about how the count was conducted – including whether the surpluses of Ms Fitzgerald and Mr Cuffe should also be counted.

After detailed discussions between the Returning Officer and the two parties – both of whom had legal advice – Mr Gallagher suspended the count.

However, there is no certainty that the issue will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction – which raises the possibility, it could end up in the courts.

Daly, Andrews in dispute over transfers at Dublin count (RTÉ)



This morning, on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke, Virgin Media One’s Political Correspondent Gavan Reilly pointed out an anomaly.

He explained that barrister and Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan told Morning Ireland earlier this morning that Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan’s votes should not be redistributed…

However, Mr Reilly highlighted that this wasn’t what Mr Phelan told the Seanad on March 6:

Via Gavan Reilly


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33 thoughts on “‘It Could End Up In The Courts’

  1. Andrew

    I really hope Clare Daly gets that third seat.
    Barry Andrews has been rewarded his whole life for being, well, Barry Andrews.
    I’m still not clear about what went on in Goal and there’s little mention of it. Then he gets handed another role with the Institute of International and European Affairs.
    Taking over from Tom Arnold, another long time charity grandee. These plum roles are just shared out between the anointed. There’s little evidence of Barry’s unique talents that got him these roles.
    Still, he’s sorted for life now and could probably retire early if he felt like it. However, not when there’s another gravy train to board and pension to be had.

  2. Col

    Surely, as Brexit is not guaranteed, they must act as though it is a 3 seat constituency. Then, if and when Brexit happens, the candidate adjudicated to be in fourth place can take up the fourth seat?

    1. ReproBertie

      As the Brits are such a bunch of bumbling idiots the EU could not wait for them to get their act together and decide what they were doing. This meant the elections all across the EU were run on the basis of the UK’s seats being forfeited and redistributed. Dublin and the South were run as having the extra seat with the understanding that the final seat would not be occupied unless and until the Brits are out.

      1. Col

        Ah ok.
        Seems like a terrible approach. What if Brexit is cancelled? What if it’s delayed for 5 years? Will the MEPs not take their seats but get paid regardless?

        1. Cian

          I assume the ‘reserve’ MEPs aren’t paid until they take up their places. But who knows?

          1. ReproBertie

            I can’t find anything official about it. I know the question was raised in the Dáil but the answer was a presumption that the EU would give direction on that before the election.

        1. ReproBertie

          The EU thinks different. They elections were planned long before the UK decided they wanted more more time. They were supposed to leave back in March. The EU parliament has rules to follow and those rules can’t be expected to wait around while the UK gets its collective finger out.

          1. Owen C

            The legal situation is that the UK will leave the EU in October. The EU parliament runs until 2024. The default situation, unless something changes, is that Ireland will therefore have 13 seats after October until 2024. It makes sense therefore to run the election on that basis.

            In this situation, the argument is simply on 3rd vs 4th, but in theory the race could be so tight as to have made 2nd vs 5th up for grabs and changeable depending on what ‘rules’ were applied. That means that there would be a complaint by someone who didn’t get that 3rd slot (or got 5th instead of 4th) no matter which ‘version’ of the rules they applied. They had to pick one and the picked the most likely scenario.

  3. Jeffrey

    And there is the problem with doing this European vote by constituencies… what a stupid idea. The successful candidate represent Ireland in Brussels, not Roscommon or Dublin. Clare Daly would be in and Fitzgerald out if it was a national candidate list.

  4. Spaghetti Hoop

    According to his Wiki page, Andrews “has served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland since 2019.” Presumptuous.

  5. Philip Quinlan

    So 46K Lynn Boylan voters will not have their votes included in the final decision?

    1. ReproBertie

      It may be that the count in Dublin and the South will be the first time the last eliminated candidate’s votes are actually counted.

  6. Worlds Biggest Ranter

    I’m not sure what effect Daly would have in Europe to be honest. She’s a disrupter rather than an effective policy maker. That’s pretty useless in Europe. She’s also not the most amenable or diplomatic personality. Don’t get me wrong. Exposing corruption at ground level is admirable and the fact that we have someone so good at it here is our good luck. Her game doesn’t fly in Europe though (My opinion) Her [often] abrasive stance on things will just have doors shut for her in Europe. The European parliament is the bar set for diplomacy. You’ve Gotta Play by the rules. She’s possibly one of the best hurler on the ditches we’ve ever seen. She’d be a little bit of an embarrassment at that level though.

      1. Worlds Biggest Ranter

        No. Not in my immediate circle, not in my electoral area and i’d certainly love nothing more than to see an FF casualty on the back of all this. You’ll note that most of my comment was in fact complementary towards her all the same. There’s no point being the Spice Girls and then wanting to be appreciated for playing real music though. Just a genuine observation on my behalf.

    1. :-Joe

      You’re clearly completely unaware of the history and form of what Clare Daly has been doing as a democratically elected TD in and outside the wailing walls of Dail Eireann.

      In stark comparison to Varad the undemocratically elected pschadelic facist impailer and his croney bunch of entitled and incompetant bureaucrats in both halves of the F-g/f establishment party.


  7. Joe Small

    My main gripe is that the Returning Officer doesn’t seem terribly familiar with the legislation he’s supposed to be applying. This was completely avoidable if he had done his job properly.

    The European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019 should lay down how the count unfolds.

  8. :-Joe

    Great photos of a showdown between the classes, the entitled corrupt establishment vs the single independent honest decent hard working politician.

    Andrews embodies the parasitic rotting core of all that is wrong with Irish politics.

    Daly embodies standing up for human rights and speaking truth to power to hold government to account for it’s policies and actions.

    The establishment both in Ireland and their bedfellows and counterparts in the EU will be difficult to overcome.

    The incompetant Frances Fitzgerald getting elected is bad enough but if Andrews gets elected you might as well vote for IREXIT as there is little chance of the EU being called out on and having to answer any important issues raised relating to Ireland.

    Fitzgerald and Andrews are part of the slow creep of corrosive non-leadership and lazy, greedy, beige middle-management style arrogant political manouvering that will lead to the populist nationalist facist extremist wave taking root in Ireland within the near future.

    People, i.e. the masses, may often seem stupid but eventually you’ll see a flashpoint proving they are not blind and completely unaware.


    1. Cian

      “People, i.e. the masses, may often seem stupid but eventually you’ll see a flashpoint proving they are not blind and completely unaware.”
      These are the same people (i.e. the masses) that have a free democratic vote? The same people voting for Fitzgerald and Andrews?

      Sounds like the people are stupid.

      1. :-Joe

        Approximately 60%-ish of the voting public at the ballot box continually vote against their own best interests and the interests of all the citizens of this country as a whole.

        The 60%-ish of voters repeatedly re-elect one half of (or both halves as we have now in this farcical confidence and supply agreement).. a binary polemic right wing neo liberal establishment. F-f/g are the same party, the same self interest and support the interests of foreign private globalised financial corporatised interests before the interests of the people of Ireland that they are supposed to answer to and represent.

        The 60%-ish of votersare apparently easily manipulated, ignorant, uninformed, uneducated, coerced, confused, deluded, despondant, desperate, greedy, bought-off, tribalised… etc etc etc etc etc. … Take your pick and add your own.

        If you honestly believe that the vote i.e. the voter and the voting process cannot be manipulated to favour outcomes then your living in a bubble.

        Two halves of the F-f/g establishment party + the greens is great for climate change and public transport etc but for everything else it’s more of the same tyranny and injustice.

        The 60%-ish voting public are like eejit Turkeys voting for xmass…..


        1. :-Joe

          Just to be clear, 60%-ish OF the total voting public…

          Deluded, ignorant, bought-off, sadistic etc. etc.


      2. :-Joe

        On the question of being the same people…

        Eventually they will be pushed over the edge, not all of them but enough when they see that nothing changes with housing, healthcare, justice etc etc. in the next couple of years while they suffer more and more cuts to their standard of living and then where will they turn to in this political climate?..

        Fake capatilism(economic neo liberalism) is eating democracy alive and when the middle class suddenlt starts to become an endangered species in Ireland then you will see the revolt.

        How could you blame them, they might be slow to catch on but they will be forced to eventually?….


  9. eoin

    11.25 am and no update from the RDS.

    How much longer will the army of counting staff be kept twiddling their thumbs (at our expense).

    Surely, divvy out Gannon’s votes and that gives you #3 and #4 as FF want.

    Then, divvy out Lynn’s and that gives you version 2 of #3 and #4. Release the counting staff and give the RDS back.

    But don’t declare #3 and #4 until it’s resolved whether Lynn’s votes should be transferred or not. All the returning officer is doing now is wasting a lot of our money.

    1. Owen C

      Not as simple as that. This only really makes ‘a difference’ if UK doesn’t pull out of EU (ie the 4th seat never comes into existence). At that stage there could easily be a complaint that the entire election count was flawed (wrong quotas, wrong surpluses transferred). So its not just positioning between 3 and 4 on the basis of Boylan’s votes. They need to be sure whatever outcome they go for is the legally correct and enforceable one if this is revisited six months down the line. If it takes a few days to be sure of that, then so be it.

      1. ReproBertie

        There’s no grounds for a complaint if the UK doesn’t every actually leave. The election was run as a 4 seater based on advice passed down from the EU and according to an act of parliament. Everybody knew the score getting into it and legally they’re covered.

        1. :-Joe

          Right now, 100% leaving if the EU doesn’t throw them out themselves beforehand.

          The best that can be hoped for is a Corbyn-Cable coalition referendum but Corbyn being elected is one thing and Cable with him is another… and that might only lead to a soft boiled brexit with a side of farage-bannon lunacy,

          If the Tory’s have their way it’s likely a no-deal brexit to win back the extremists from the far-right.


  10. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

    That pic of Clare is magic

    I’d say she ran rings around Barry in the huddle with the Returning Officer

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