At least 5 or 6 ballots papers so far are in dispute at the count afresh in the Listowel Municipal District taking place in the John Mitchels GAA Club in Tralee.
Candidates and their agents are continuing to adjudicate over doubtful votes. This count afresh arose from a legal challenge taken by Independent candidate Dan Kiely to the Supreme Court following the Kerry County Council election in May 2014.
It’s understood there’s around 300 votes in that pile being considered and that fewer than 10 votes bearing no first preference but having 3,4 and 5 been excluded as per the Supreme Court ruling.
Tensions are high here at the John Mitchels and it is believed that there is 5 or 6 ballots so far on which there is no agreement.
This means these disputed papers and others will need to be taken by the Returning officer Charlie O’Sullivan to Limerick to be decided upon by Circuit Court Judge Tom O Donnell, who is supervising the count, to see what will be excluded or included.
It is unclear if this will take place this evening or tomorrow morning and is very much dependent on the judge’s availability.
Count staff meanwhile have concluded sorting the first preference votes in the first count and have been sent for a break.
It’s likely when the staff return at 6.30 – the count will be suspended