Circuit Court gives go-ahead for recount of votes in Listowel Electoral Area

Tralee courthouse The Circuit Court has given the go-ahead for the recounting of votes cast in the Listowel Electoral Area in the 2014 local elections. The decision by Judge Tom O’Donnell at Tralee Circuit Court this morning follows a successful challenge by Independent candidate Dan Kiely heard at the Supreme Court last month. The Supreme Court ordered that a full recount of ballots take place under the supervision of the local circuit court. Judge O’Donnell has asked Kerry County Council to arrange a date and venue for the count and says it may also appoint a returning officer. The recount of all 14,929 ballots in the seven-seat Listowel area must take place following Dan Kiely’s successful challenge to the outcome of the result. At Tralee Circuit Court this morning, barrister Henry Downing for Kerry County Council said the count must take place afresh including a full re-mixing of all voting papers. Mr Downing told Judge Tom O’Donnell he had to decide whether to be simply to be involved in the process at the beginning and the end or to become the returning officer himself. He added the council would have to find a venue and notify all parties of the recount which could take some time as a venue might be required for a number of days. Judge O’Donnell was advised this situation had never arisen before in the history of the state. The judge said he was firmly of the view that he would allow the count to proceed in the normal fashion in terms of finding a venue, notifying the parties and allowing Kerry County Council to appoint a returning officer as usual. He instructed that at least one week’s notice be given and said he was anxious the matter be dealt with as soon as possible. Judge O’Donnell said he was open to suggestions about a date and asked that the council come back to him with details of a date and venue as soon as possible.