February 28, 2024

ELECTION 2020: ‘We need to put aside all the differences’ – McGuinness lays down gauntlet to Martin, no candidate elected on second count

Outspoken Kilkenny TD John McGuinness piled the pressure on Micheál Martin again after he challenged his party leader to speak to Fine Gael and Sinn Fein about forming a new Government.

Speaking as he was looking set to claim the second seat in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency at the count centre tonight, Deputy McGuinness urged Fianna Fáil to speak to “every party” in order to deal with the problems facing the country.

“It’s quite clear that the message from the electorate is that we must speak to every party, including Independents, to try and bring together a Government,” he told RTÉ.

“I would be supportive of the party discussing the Government with Sinn Féin and Fine Gael and Independents. The day has come when we need to put aside all the differences with Sinn Fein and Fine Gael and deal with the economic issues.

“We must examine clearly what is now required to be a political party participating at the highest level and dealing with all of the issues that we have discussed with the electorate on their doorstep over the last three and a half weeks.

“If we don’t do that, if we don’t play our part perhaps as a national Government or a coalition Government we are not serving the people that we have spoken to.”

Deputy McGuinness has still not reached the quota of 12,274 votes needed to confirm his re-election to the Dáil after the second count at the Lyrath Estate Conference Centre.

However, Fianna Fáil still occupy positions 2, 3 and 4 in the five-seater constituency, and it is only a matter of time before Deputy McGuinness’ election to the 33rd Dáil is confirmed.

No candidate was elected in the second count in the constituency. The three lowest polling candidates, Helena Byrne of Renua, Melissa O’Neill of the Irish Freedom Party and Angela Ray Independent have been eliminated. Count three has now begun.

Some 34.4% of Kathleen Funchion’s huge surplus went to SOL-PBP candidate Adrienne Wallace, but she is still a long way off the contenders for the final seat in the constituency.


Quota: 12,274

*FUNCHION, Kathleen SF 17,493 * COUNT 1 (Elected)
*McGUINNESS, John FF 11,021 +463
MURNANE O’CONNOR, Jennifer FF 9,723 +372
*AYLWARD, Bobby FF 7,791 +241
*PHELAN, John Paul FG 6,498 +102
*DEERING, Pat FG 6,037 +108
NOONAN, Malcolm GP 5,504 +562
O’NEILL, Patrick FG 3,723 +49
WALLACE, Adrienne SOL-PBP 3,350 +1,792
HAYES, Alan IND 2,951 +604
HYNES, Denis LAB 2,610 +402

BYRNE, Helena RN 1,164 ** +172  – Eliminated
O’NEILL, Melissa IFP 666 ** +235 – Eliminated
RAY, Angela IND 331 ** +117 – Eliminated

*Denotes sitting TDs

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