Two horse race in Limerick’s DEM election as Fianna Fáil’s Dee Ryan eliminated

Dee Ryan, having just eliminated from the mayoral race on the 11th count, would be not drawn on the potential for a Dáil run. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

THE sprint to become Limerick’s first directly-elected mayor is now a two horse race as Fianna Fáil’s Dee Ryan was eliminated on the 11th count.

The first-time political candidate secured 18,875 vote after 11 counts, which wasn’t enough to stay in the race behind Independent candidates John Moran and Helen O’Donnell.

Speaking to the Limerick Post after being eliminated from the historic mayoral race, the former Limerick Chamber CEO said that she was “encouraged” by the reception she got on the doorsteps of Limerick during her campaign.

“We had had a ball. I couldn’t wish for a better campaign, and I’m really encouraged by the fantastic welcome that I got from the people of Limerick. It was an honour to to be the Fianna Fáil candidate. It was an honour to get out across the county and meet as many people as I did,” Ms Ryan said.

Paying tribute to the Independent candidates who are remaining in the race, Ms Ryan said that “they ran excellent campaigns, highly credible candidates, and I’ve no doubt that Limerick will choose the right mayor”.

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Ms Ryan, however, would not be drawn on what her future in politics may hold, while also not ruling out running for a seat in the Dáil.

“I think today’s not the day to answer that question,” she said.

“But I absolutely loved it. I’m getting a lot of encouragement from my fellow party members. But, you know, it’s not a question for today. Today’s about the mayor, and I wish the mayor the absolute best, and they have my support,” she told reporters.

Ms Ryan said that her main takeaways from the campaign are that “there’s generally a sense in Limerick that people are content with the economy, but there is a real demand locally for investment in public services, primarily the hospital and housing, and even people who aren’t directly impacted by those are aware that others in our community are in need”.

“So there’s a huge demand right across Limerick for investment in public services,” she concluded.

The race is just down to two candidates now, after two long days of counting. At the moment, frontrunner John Moran leads by 5,605 votes with 24,985 to Helen O’Donnell’s 19,353. With 18,875 to be transferred from Dee Ryan, this race has now come down to the wire.