A RECOUNT of the Ireland South European election could take more than 28 days to complete as Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada fights for her seat.
A recheck of her and Green Party's Senator Grace O'Sullivan's votes is already underway in Nemo Rangers GAA Club, with a decision on a full or partial recount to be made later to see if Ms Ní Riada can overcome the 327-vote gap between them.
Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly and Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher have already passed the quota in the marathon count that started Sunday, while Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace and Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune are both projected to win seats once the count is finished.
After the distribution of newly elected MEP Mr Kelleher's votes last night, Ms Ní Riada was in sixth place and set to be eliminated, finishing just behind Ms O'Sullivan.
At Ms Ní Riada's request, count staff are now examining the bundles of her and Ms O'Sullivan's votes to ensure that each one was assigned to them correctly.
Once that is complete, Ms Ní Riada may decide to call for a full or partial recount to see if the remaining gap can be made up.
Returning officer Martin Harvey has advised that a full recount could take up to 28 days, as less count staff would be available as they returned to their normal jobs.
The recount would also not begin until next Tuesday, after the Bank Holiday weekend.
If Ms Ní Riada does not call a recount, she will be eliminated and her votes will be redistributed in order to determine who finishes in fifth and will be unable to take up their seat until the UK leaves the European Union.