IT was a nail-biting finish to an historic General Election in Clare but Independent Michael McNamara, Sinn Féin’s Violet Anne Wynne, Fianna Fáil’s Cathal Crowe and Fine Gael’s Joe Carey were elected in the Falls Hotel this afternoon.
There are many sub-plots to this election but undoubtedly the headlines will go to Violet Anne Wynne, who is Clare’s first Sinn Féin TD since Eamon de Valera in 1922.
There were five in the hunt as the tenth and final count drew near, but when Returning Officer Pat Wallace read the results of Róisín Garvey’s 7,339 distributed votes, Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley ranked fifth in votes and was excluded.
Joe Carey is Clare’s only outgoing TD to retain his seat as the national change that manifested in the election made its way to Clare.
Both Michael McNamara (12,205) and Violet Anne Wynne (11,903) reached the quota of 11,900 while Cathal Crowe (11,471) and Joe Carey (11,345) were deemed elected without reaching the quota.
Dooley finished with a total of 10,630.
In another unusual event, Clare had to wait until the 10th and final count to elect all four TDs as the pack couldn’t be separated as elimination after elimination passed.
It is also the first time since 1927 that neither Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael hold two or more seats in Clare.