Andrew Carey at the Limerick count centre
JUST 78 votes split the two Fine Gael candidates in County Limerick as Patrick O’Donovan has retained his seat but the story of the night goes to constituency’s newly elected TD Tom Neville who harvested a sizeable amount of transfers in the later counts to be returned behind Fianna Fail’s Niall Collins.
To joyous scenes, returning officer Kieran Lehane, announced that Tom Neville, son of outgoing TD Dan Neville, together with party colleague Patrick O’Donovan were deemed elected along with Fianna Fail’s Niall Collins who topped the poll on the first count.
With 11,104 first preference votes, Niall Collins was elected with ease while the elimination of six candidates led to their votes being distributed amongst O’Donovan, Neville and Emmett O’Brien (IND) who was hot on the heels of the Fine Gael duo.
However, the late surge from the Pallaskenry man just fell short of the mark as 810 votes separated him from crossing the line ahead of Patrick O’Donovan.
Afterwards, the Limerick Cllr said on an online post to his social media page;
“Friends, neighbours and loyal constituents, while I fell short this evening by 810 votes I ended up with 9481 votes which is down to the immense effort of my canvassers and supporters. I want to thank each and every one of you!
To quote George E Woodbury “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.”
The final count from County Limerick (3 seats);
Niall Collins (FF) 11,104 ELECTED
Tom Neville (FG) 10,369 ELECTED
Patrick O’Donovan (FG) 10,291 ELECTED
Emmett O’Brien (IND) 9,481 (Eliminated on last count)
Eliminated on earlier counts – James Heffernan (SD), Seamus Browne (SF), Richard O’Donoghue (Non P), Alexander Cosgrave Storey (Non P), Mark Keogh (DDI), John O’Gorman (Non P).