DESPITE all incumbent TDs retaining their seats, Cork North-West demonstrated an appetite for change.
What was tipped to be a clear two-horse race between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, didn’t transpire to be as black and white - with a Social Democrat candidate surviving the penultimate count when Fine Gael’s John Paul O’Shea was eliminated.
Speaking about the absence of a Sinn Féin candidate on the ballot paper Liadh Ní Riada said that while she did "think carefully" about running, she ultimately believed she would make "no huge gains" in the constituency which has always elected two Fianna Fáil candidates and one Fine Gael, or vice versa.
"Hindsight is a great thing and looking at how well Sinn Féin performed in the election, of course, I now wish there was a candidate on the ballot paper.
"Cork North West demonstrated an appetite for change, evidenced by how well the Social Democrats performed in the constituency," she said.
In a statement, Ciarán McCarthy (SD) expressed his profound gratitude towards the 3,845 people who voted for him as their first preference on Saturday. He finished with 8,588 votes including transfers.
"We came really close to having an alternative, progressive voice advocating for a fairer society in Cork North West for the first time in its history," he said.
Speaking tohe said he was proud the party managed to challenge the big two in Cork North-West - a traditionally conservative constituency.
"We gave them a run for their money.
"It was an important election.
"We are approaching the centenary of the formation of the State and I think people are no longer just honouring familial loyalties when it comes to voting.
"There’s a real willingness there amongst voters to take responsibility and vote to incite the change they want to see," he said.