Grace O’Sullivan secures fourth seat in Ireland South

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

June 4th, 2019

Senator Grace O’Sullivan has secured the fourth MEP seat in the Ireland South constituency.

Ms O’Sullivan edged out Fine Gael’s Deirdre Clune who takes the fifth and final seat, although she cannot take up her role at the Parliament until after Britain officially leaves the EU.

Fine Gael’s Seán Kelly and Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher were elected last week, with Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace taking the third seat earlier today.

Earlier this week, Sinn Féin called for a recount after a recheck of votes revealed that Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan was only 326 votes ahead of the party’s outgoing MEP Liadh Ní Riada.

The recount of 756,000 ballot papers was called off, with Ms Ní Riada congratulating her Green Party opponent yesterday.

The redistribution of Ms Ní Riada and Mr Wallace’s surplus votes were a crucial factor in putting Ms O’Sullivan ahead of Ms Clune.

Ms O’Sullivan will join Ciaran Cuffe in the EU Parliament as the first Green Pary candidates elected to Europe since Patricia McKenna’s victory in the 2004 race.

The Dublin City councillor and former Junior Minister reached the quota in the capital race after the 13th count.

Mr Cuffe’s election forms part of the green wave that has hit several European countries this election cycle, with the Greens/EFA grouping experiencing a 50 per cent bump in seats.

Yesterday, Ms Ní Riada said that she was happy with her performance during her tenure in the EU Parliament, adding that she had delivered “her very best”.

“I am incredibly proud of my term as an MEP. I always did my very best to deliver for constituents and to defend Ireland’s interests in the European Parliament,” she said.

“Over the past five years, Sinn Féin’s team of MEPs have stood up for equality, social justice and democracy. I am honoured that I was part of those efforts.”

In recent days, Ms O’Sullivan had said that she “understood” Sinn Féin’s request for recount adding, however, that she would’ve conceded to defeat if the situation was reversed.

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Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.