Counting of votes get underway at Kerry Count Centre at 9am

election2016_1Counting of votes in the Kerry constituency will get underway at 9am at the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre. Sixteen candidates are vying for five Dáil seats in one single electoral district which has replaced the Kerry North/West Limerick and Kerry South constituencies. Almost 113 thousand people are eligible to vote in Kerry. It’s estimated that the quota – the minimum number of votes a candidate needs to be elected – may be around 13,000. It’s the first time in more than 80 years that Kerry has been united in one constituency. The votes in 212 ballot boxes will be counted in the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre; 67 boxes from South and West Kerry, 50 boxes each from the Tralee and Killarney electoral areas and 45 from the Listowel district. It’s expected around 30 boxes are to be opened at 9am as the count begins. The next Dáil will see this county’s representation reduced from six to five TDs. Five outgoing TDs are seeking re-election: Fine Gael’s Jimmy Deenihan and Brendan Griffin, Independent Michael Healy-Rae, Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris and Arthur Spring of Labour. Three weeks ago, deputy Tom Fleming announced he would not be contesting the election. His withdrawal prompted the decision by Killarney area independent Cllr Danny Healy-Rae to enter the race just minutes before the deadline. Tom Fleming was the only TD from the greater Killarney area and Danny and his brother Michael believe his departure offers them the chance to take two seats. Also running in Kerry are Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil and Norma Moriarty, Grace O’Donnell of Fine Gael, Donal Corcoran of Renua, Brian Finucane of AAA/ People Before Profit, Michael Fitzgerald of the Greens and independents Mary Fitzgibbon, Henry Gaynor, Kevin Murphy and Michael Pixie O’Gorman. A first count is expected around 7 o’clock this evening but this is an estimate.