26 February 2011
by Marian O'Flaherty
The tallies are in and its looking increasingly like Keel Councillor Brendan Griffin will top the poll in Kerry South, making him the first TD in the Dáil from the Dingle Peninsula in over 20 years.
In an unprecedented surge, Griffin has virtually done the impossible. While polls had painted him in a positive light, to top the poll in a constituency which included such heavy-weights as former Fianna Fáil Minister and ex-Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue, the Healy-Rae dynasty as well as a sitting Fine Gael TD in Tom Sheahan, the 28-year old has surprised everyone.
The count, which will begin in earnest in Killarney Sports and Leisure Complex at 7.30pm this evening (Saturday Feb 26th), is promising to be a photo finish with Michael Healy-Rae (Ind), Tom Fleming (Ind), John O'Donoghue (FF), Tom Sheahan (FG) and Michael Gleeson (SKIA) all in with a decent shot at a seat.
But it seems very likely - according to the tally numbers - that Brendan Griffin is a certainty.
According to the *first-preference tally made earlier today; the Dingle Electoral Area really came out in support of Griffin, where he polled 4,527. Next was O'Donoghue (FF) on 1,328 followed by Moloney (Labour) on 924.
Healy-Rae's (Ind) Dingle tally was 691, Fleming (Ind) 609, Gleeson (SKIA) 592, Sheahan (FG) 342, Behal (Ind) 86, Comerford (Green) 83 and Finn (Ind) 62.
Dingle town saw Griffin on 620; in comparison O'Donoghue received 175 and Maloney 160.
In Camp on 213, Griffin literally dominated the tally-poll – in comparison, in second place was Healy-Rae on 49.
Cloghane (176) proved another stronghold for Griffin – in second place was Healy-Rae on 33 by comparison. Same story in Castlegregory with Griffin on 271 and O'Donoghue on 99.
Annascaul came out in force behind the young Councillor where he polled 340. O'Donoghue's second place tally was 86.
Notably, Griffin even did well in Gaeltacht areas where Fine Gael had been criticised for their Irish language policy such as Ballyferriter (133), Muiríoch (113) and Feothneach (159), Lios Póil (314) and Ceann Trá (87), where he out-polled his running mates. Only in Dún Chaoin was Griffin out-polled with Gleeson on 32 and Griffin on 25.
However there is still a long road to go before anyone is elected in Kerry South – which has emerged as one of the most closely contested constituencies in the country.
As the count begins in earnest this evening – there is still all to play for for the candidates however it does seem that the only clear indication emerging from initial tally is that Keel's Brendan Griffin will be elected.
*please note, these figures are based on tally estimates and should not be considered as final results– as results are confirmed we will update the information on the website. These tally figures may be affected by a variety of factors and should be considered as predictions only.