All three seats have been filled for Cork North-West on the fifth count. Fine Gael’s Michael Creed was the first candidate elected in after he surpassed quota and received a total of 13,060 votes.
Whilst it was a significant victory for the candidate who was 1,467 votes in excess of the quota, Fianna Fáil ultimately retained the upper hand in the constituency, with both Aindrias Moynihan and Michael Moynihan retaining their seats.
Aindrias Moynihan received a total of 11,173 votes and Michael Moynihan received a total of 11,240 votes. The two Fianna Fáil candidates failed to reach the quota but were deemed elected.
Having topped the polls on the first count, Aindrias Moynihan was cautiously optimistic but stated it was “such a relief” to win his seat on the fifth count.
“It was a tough campaign all the way through. I’m so grateful for the support. It’s a huge honour from people right across the constituency to lend me their vote and to be given the opportunity to represent them in the Dáil. I also want to acknowledge the huge support my family have given me,” he told The Echo.
Fianna Fáil’s party’s chief whip, Michael Moynihan expressed his delight that the party managed to emerge on top.
“It’s been a long day, although we have had longer days at count centres. I’m delighted with the result here. Delighted with the result in my own area, in particular.
"The northern side of the constituency, in particular, was very strong for us, " he said. “It was a tough battle. Opposing candidates did put up a good fight, they’re all very capable candidates in their own right, but we can only fight our own game,” Mr Moynihan added.
Fine Gael’s Michael Creed was equally jubilant to have retained his seat. Speaking to The Echo he lauded his party colleague John Paul O’Shea (previously Independent), who ran as a Fine Gael candidate for the first time, but was knocked out on the fourth count.
“I’m relieved. It’s never an easy thing to put your name on the ballot paper. I’d like to thank all my own supporters who have been fantastic. It’s not been the easiest election for us… I’d like to acknowledge my running mate, John Paul O’Shea who put in a fantastic campaign. I know what it’s like to be in that position, I’ve lost my seat before. I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of John Paul either.”
The Cork North West election has wrapped up, with the three outgoing TDs all re-elected, two Fianna Fáil and one Fine Gael.
The traditionally conservative constituency has always returned only Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael candidates and today proved no different.
Minister Michael Creed (FG) was re-elected alongside Fianna Fáil's Andrias Moynihan and Michael Moynihan.
The result was never really in doubt despite a strong showing from Social Democrat Ciarán McCarthy, who survived the fourth count when Fine Gael candidate John Paul O’Shea was eliminated.
Mr McCarthy said he was very pleased with the support the Social Democrats have acquired thus far.
“We’re doing well here at the moment and I’m delighted,” he told The Echo.
Speaking about his campaign, Mr McCarthy paid tribute to his canvassers, saying: “We had really motivated supporters. Everyone who came out with us wanted to make a change.”
He received an additional 2,161 votes in the fourth count and now stands at 8,079.
Aindrias Moynihan (FF) received 660 additional votes and has still a way to go to meet the quota at 10,679 votes.
His party colleague, Michael Moynihan received 452 votes, bringing him to 9,269 votes.
Fine Gael’s hope of bagging a seat resides in Michael Creed who now has 9,099 votes after an additional 327 in the fourth count.
The next operation is the exclusion of Fine Gael candidate John Paul O’Shea and the distribution of his papers. The quota for Cork North-West is 11,593.
No candidate has yet reached the quota on the third count for Cork North-West.
The next operation is the exclusion of Aontú candidate Becky Kealy and the distribution of her papers.
She was polling ahead of Ciarán McCarthy (SD) in the last count. Ciarán McCarthy received an additional 1,677 and is now at 5918 votes.
The vote transfers were as follows: Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan received an additional 319 votes and now has 10,019 votes; Michael Moynihan (FF) received an additional 119 votes and now has 8,817; Michael Creed (FG) received 396 votes and now stands at 8,772; John Paul O’Shea (FG) received 232 additional votes lifting him to 7,352 votes.
No candidate has yet reached the quota on the second count for Cork North-West.
The next operation is the exclusion of Green Party candidate Colette Finn and the distribution of her 3,694 papers.
The vote transfers were as follows: Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan received an additional 72 votes and now has 9,700 votes; Michael Moynihan (FF) received an additional 47 votes and now has 8,698; Michael Creed (FG) received 38 votes and now stands at 8,376; John Paul O’Shea (FG) received 55 additional votes lifting him to 7,120 votes; Becky Kealy (Aontú) received 477 more votes and now has 4,354 whilst Social Democrat Ciarán McCarthy got 396 additional votes and now sits at 4,241.
No candidate has managed to reach the quota on the first count in Cork North-West.
Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan received 9,628 votes on the first count, followed by party colleague Michael Moynihan at 8,651 votes.
Fine Gael’s Michael Creed has 8,338 votes, polling ahead of running mate John Paul O’Shea with 7,065 votes.
Aontú’s Becky Kealy ranks next at 3,877 followed by Social Democrat Ciarán McCarthy at 3,845 and Green Party candidate Colette Finn with 3,495 votes.
Speaking to The Echo ahead of the announcement of the first count results, Aontú's Becky Kealy expressed her delight at polling ahead of a number of parties.
"As a party, we’re just a year old and I was only selected as a candidate last September," she said. "We weren’t expecting a February election but we gave it our best and to be coming out with just over 8% of the first preference votes is mighty altogether.
"I knew we were going to do well because we were getting it at the doors. People were coming out saying I’m not voting for Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael anyway and they wanted an alternative party to vote for. We were getting a positive response on the doorsteps. I knew things were looking good but I didn’t think it would go down as well as it has."
The next operation is the exclusion of two lowest candidates, Seán O’Leary (Ind) and Tara Nic Domhnaill (Irish Freedom Party) and the distribution of their 1,471 papers.
Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan is cautiously optimistic following the results of the first full tally.
At almost full tally he had received 8,290 votes with Michael Moynihan (FF) at 7,305. When full tally was officially announced Aindrias Moynihan’s votes jumped to 9,335, with his party colleague Michael Moynihan (no relation) receiving 8,410 votes.
Speaking to The Echo Aindrias Moynihan said: “I’m a little bit more comfortable but there’s a long day in it. I feel there could be quite a bit of transferring before the day is out as there’s a very high quota there at about 11,500 so there’s a gap to fill there yet, but I’m feeling a little bit more confident.”
The final tally saw Fine Gael’s Michael Creed receiving 8,091 votes, polling ahead of his party colleague John Paul O’Shea at 6,913 votes.
Aontú’s Becky Kealy received 3,790 followed by Social Democrat Ciarán McCarthy with 3,466 votes. The Green Party’s Colette Finn was next with 3,423 votes, followed Irish Freedom Party’s Tara Nic Domhnaill with 892 votes.
Independent candidate Seán O’Leary, who is running in 11 constituencies across Cork, Dublin, Kerry and Kildare received 525 votes. There were 380 spoilt votes.
There is set to be no major change in Cork North-West, according to the latest tallies.
The three incumbent TDS, Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan, party colleague Michael Moynihan and Fine Gael’s Michael Creed are expected to retain their seats.
In the Fine Gael camp, Mr Creed is polling ahead of John Paul O’Shea with 7,419 votes to 6,100.
Fianna Fáil’s Aindrias Moynihan has 8,290 votes in first fully tally, with Michael Moynihan (FF) at 7,305.
The party share of the vote isL Fianna Fáil (38.4%) Fine Gael (33.6%), Aontú (8.5%), Green Party (7.7%), Social Democrats (7.8%), Independent (3.1%).
There is no Sinn Fein candidate in Cork North West, and the party will be kicking itself for leaving the opportunity go to waste.
THE count for Cork North-West has officially begun in Mallow GAA Complex.
Nine candidates are all vying for a seat in the Dáil in this three-seater constituency which is set to be something of a bellwether constituency.
In every election since the constituency was established in 1981, Cork North West has exemplified the duopoly between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, with the former claiming two seats and the latter securing the other, or vice versa.
The last general election saw Fianna Fáil dominate with veteran Michael Moynihan and newcomer Aindrias Moynihan claiming two seats, whist Fine Gael’s Michael Creed won the third.
The two Fianna Fáil candidates are no doubt feeling the pressure to retain their seats and secure a crucial win for the party in this sprawling constituency, which encompasses both rural and urban areas.
Fine Gael could pose a significant threat, with party newcomer, John Paul O’Shea. In the last general election, Mr O’Shea ran as an Independent, but joined Fine Gael in February 2018 and was subsequently made the party’s leader in Cork County Council.
Election predictions have indicated that the Mallow native is likely to find himself in a dogfight against Fianna Fáil’s Michael Moynihan, also from the North of the constituency and the outcome could be determined by just a few votes.
But it’s all still to play for, and voters may well have deviated from tradition and opted to support the Green Party candidate, Colette Finn, Social Democrat Ciarán McCarthy, Aontú’s Becky Kealy, Independent Séan O’Leary or Irish Freedom Party’s Tara Nic Domhnaill.
Stretching from the Kerry and Limerick borders right into Cork City, agriculture, road projects, housing and healthcare are just some of the key concerns for Cork North-West voters – and ultimately they will elect the candidates who they feel are best suited to tackling problems and instigating change.
:: EchoLive will have updates on the count throughout the day.