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Fianna Fáil performing better than predicted

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has expressed his immense satisfaction at the performance of Fianna Fáil in the local election tallies and described the party as being well placed for a General Election next year.

Speaking in City Hall in Cork, Mr Martin said Fianna Fáil was doing “far better than predicted.”

“The idea that Fianna Fáil would be coming in a distant third is completely disproven. I have been looking at opinion polls for the last three years putting Fianna Fáil at 14-15% when clearly Fianna Fáil will be well ahead of that and will over 20% by the time all these counts are put together,” he said

Mr Martin said his party was delivering a very “robust performance”.

“We are holding our own compared to our performance in the General Election of 2020. We have had a great result in Cork so far it seems and an awful lot will be determined by transfers and by the later counts. I think this will go well in to the early morning,” he said.

The party leader added hat he wanted to pay tribute to Jack Chambers as National Director of Elections for a “tremendously comprehensive approach”.

Meanwhile, looking to the European elections Mr Martin expressed confidence in the possibility of the party gaining a seat in the Midlands-North-West constituency.

He acknowledged a lack of “comprehensive tallying” of the European figures and said that the only certainty was of a long night being in the offing.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe speaking to the media

‘All to play for’ – Donohoe

Minister for Public Expenditure and Fine Gael TD Paschal Donohoe has said the local election tallies have “shattered” the suggestion Sinn Fein is “in any shape to go into government”.

Speaking at the RDS in Dublin, Minister Donohoe said he believes the predicted results show “Fine Gael has ran a very high-energy campaign” and that “all is to play for in the time ahead”.

Minister Donohoe said “the idea this is a Government or a party that has ran out of steam has been shattered”.

Turning his attention to rival party Sinn Féin, he said “another narrative that has been shattered is that Sinn Fein are in any great shape to go into Government”.

“They’re a one trick pony and their one trick isn’t working at the moment,” he said.

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Sinn Féin TD says party will grow in local government

Earlier this afternoon, Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said it was too early to tell but it looks like the party “will make gains”.

“There’s large parts of the country, several local authorities, where there’s currently no Sinn Féin representation,” he said.

“That’s going to change today and that is going to help us to build the party and the organisation.”

He said a lot of local authorities that had been “lacking that Sinn Féin voice” will now have it and that the party had “brought a very positive message” to this election.

“I anticipate we will make gains off the back of that,” he added.

Labour’s Ivana Bacik and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin arrive at the RDS

Demise of Labour ‘greatly exaggerated’

Labour leader Ivanna Bacik has said she “always knew” the demise of Labour “was greatly exaggerated” after what she said has been “a really strong, positive and constructive” local and European elections campaign.

Speaking to reporters as she arrived at the RDS count centre, the Dublin Bay South said she is pleased with her party’s overall position in tallies.

Asked about the possibility of party TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin being in contention for one of the four Dublin MEP seats, Ms Bacik said “it’s early days there” and that there is “certainly nothing like a certain tally”.

However, she said she believes the party’s “commitment” has been “recognised in the vote today”.

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Cairns looking to make gains

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns has said she is hopeful the party will make gains across the country.

Speaking at the count centre in Clonakilty in west Cork she said she was very proud of all those who put their names forward for election

“It’s the first time we have run candidates in all three of the local areas in Cork South West so to be in the hunt in all three area is huge for us,” she said.

“I’m so proud of all of the candidates and we are really hopeful that we will make gains across the country today for the Social Democrats.”

Independent Ireland ‘polling consistently’

Earlier, Independent TD and member of Independent Ireland Michael Fitzmaurice said it is “early days yet” but their three European candidates are polling well and are in the mix for seats.

He said Ciaran Mullooly, European Parliament candidate for Midlands-North-West, was “polling consistently” everywhere so far.

“But I urge a word of caution because this is all tallies and it’s early days in the whole race,” he added.

“I don’t want to go saying something that I come back and regret… it looks positive, it looks as if independents around the country are doing fairly well.”

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