Judge Tom O’Donnell has ruled on the contentious 32 ballot papers at Limerick Courthouse.
After more than three hours of pouring over 32 ballot papers in minute detail, Judge Tom O’Donnell has decided on the contentious ballot papers.
The sealed envelope containing the original papers were opened here at Limerick Courthouse at 9 o’clock this morning.
Returning Officer Charlie O’Sullivan outlined his reasoning behind rejecting or allowing the papers one by one.
In total Mr O’Sullivan was proposing to allow 27 of the ballot papers.
Among the disputed papers were six where the counterfoils were still attached to the papers and the official stamp was on the counterfoil – these were rejected by Judge O’Donnell.
On another ballot paper horns, a moustache and a beard were drawn on the photograph of one of the candidates. This paper was allowed. Judge O’Donnell quipped the voter was ‘one unhappy Kerryman.’
Judge O’Donnell commended the preparatory work done by all parties concerned. He said he was extremely conscious of the important role of the Returning Officer and after listening very carefully to all submissions ordered that 18 of the disputed ballot papers to be included in the count.
Speaking after the decision – Independent candidate Dan Kiely whose legal challenge to the Supreme Court led to the count afresh says the outcome of the count afresh is still far from certain: