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#LouthLive: Election 2020 – relive it here, as it happened

  • Welcome along to day two of the Louth count in the 2020 general election.

  • Today, we hope to fill the remaining three seats in the five seat constituency.

  • Ged Nash, Fergus O’Dowd, Mark Dearey, Peter Fitzpatrick and Declan Breathnach are all in the running.

  • Refresh this page for updates throughout the day.

Louth Live
#LouthLive General Election 2020 special.

Welcome along to day two of the Louth constituency count in the 2020 general election count. Barry Landy here live from the Carnbeg Hotel in Dundalk as count five is now underway here. Five candidates are in the running for three remaining seats with Imelda Munster and Ruairi O Murchu of Sinn Féin elected on the first count yesterday.

Those candidates are Mark Dearey, Declan Breathnach, Fergus O’Dowd, Ged Nash and Peter Fitzpatrick.

We’re going to link to some of our articles from yesterday here in the blog now, so if you’ve missed anything stay here.

As of 10.15am, we have at least three candidates in the room – Mark Dearey, Peter Fitzpatrick and Topanga Bird. Bird will likely be eliminated in this the fifth count. Much quieter here this morning compared to yesterday with no Sinn Féin.

After we wrapped up at the count centre at last night, Albert Byrne was eliminated and his votes were distributed. This morning, Topanga Bird and David Bradley, both Independents were eliminated. Their final tallies were 538 and 465 respectively. Byrne was eliminated on 273.

Bird’s and Bradley’s votes now being re-distributed.

Bit of chatter in the count centre this morning regarding Peter Fitzpatrick. Suggestions that he is likely to fare well in the transfers, which is a fair summary. ‘Fitzer’ is one candidate who can garner transfers from across the spectrum. Is Fergus O’Dowd as safe as people think?

And how will Declan Breathnach fare? The James Byrne transfers are fascinating. Will his transfers stay in Drogheda and go towards someone like Ged Nash or Fergus O’Dowd? Breathnach will hope not. He needs them from his party mate. If he doesn’t fare well there, it will likely be curtains for him.

The fifth count is in. Topanga Bird and David Bradley’s votes have been redistributed. Peter Fitzpatrick (222) and Mark Dearey (146) benefit most there. Doesn’t change a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.

Eamon Sweeney and Cathal O Murchu of the Irish Freedom Party have been eliminated. Their votes will now be redistributed.

The state of play in Louth after the fifth count, just announced. Sixth is now underway.

The state of play in Louth after the fifth count.

Labour candidate Ged Nash, expected by many to take one of these remaining three seats today, spoke to us last night. More later.

Ged Nash Quotes

Unlike Sunday, where most candidates didn’t arrive until the afternoon (Munster, O Murchu) and the evening (the rest) – it’s lively here today. Declan Breathnach, Peter Fitzpatrick, Mark Dearey, Ged Nash and Fergus O’Dowd is here as is Audrey Fergus of People Before Profit. All milling around. And James Byrne of Fianna Fáil has just arrived now.

The sixth count is in. Sixth count is done. Audrey Fergus of People Before Profit has been eliminated. Peter Fitzpatrick the big winner from the transfers of Cathal O Murchu and Eamon Sweeney, getting 615. Dearey got 244 and Nash received 217.

Here is the very latest from the count centre in Dundalk. Sixth count complete. The seventh has been completed. Votes for Audrey Fergus being transferred now.

The Sixth Count is complete.

This is the real nitty gritty now. Peter Fitzpatrick did well from the transfers of Eamon Sweeney and Cathal O Murchu, and now, you would imagine Mark Dearey will be the benefactor in chief from Audrey Fergus’ transfers. Ged Nash maybe too, perhaps. A good showing for Dearey after this count would likely see him usurp O’Dowd.

And then it’s all to play for.

Interestingly, we were chatting to Fianna Fáil candidate James Byrne earlier and he was sure that the vast majority of his transfers would be heading the way of party mate Declan Breathnach and not necessarily Ged Nash or Fergus O’Dowd in Drogheda. Breathnach will need a big proportion of those – but we’re not sure he’ll get them. This is looking hairy for him.

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Counting continues on the seventh count here. We may be about to get some news. Stay with us.

The seventh count is done. Audrey Fergus’ votes have been transferred. Mark Dearey a big, big winner with 995 there to bring him to 7,675. Now in third. Peter Fitzpatrick received 630 from Fergus, leaving him comfortable in second on 8,201. Ged Nash has 7,545. Now, James Byrne (Fianna Fáil) votes are being redistributed. He has been eliminated.

The seventh count is in.

James Byrne
Fianna Fáil’s James Byrne is eliminated.

The eighth count is underway. This will likely take a few hours. Should know how James Byrne’s transfers have gone around 3pm or so.

Here’s some audio from our chat with the People Before Profit candidate Audrey Fergus who was eliminated after the sixth count. She was very proud of her performance, registering a total of 3,028.

Declan Breathnach is not expecting a happy outcome here. He hasn’t conceded obviously, but he knows that the transfers of James Byrne won’t be enough to save him. He has lasted one term in the Dáil Éireann. It’s virtually all over. The eighth count results are imminent.

We’re hearing this may not be over. Breathnach needs a big transfer from Byrne and he might just get one. If he does, he’ll have a fighting chance of nabbing the last seat. A small one, but something. Let’s wait and see.

We are 10 minutes away from the results of the eight count here. Stay with us. This is exciting.

Results of the eighth count are in. Big, big boost for Declan Breathnach here as he gains 2,225 to bring him to 8,403. He is in third.

Interestingly, just 24 votes now separate Breathnach (8,403), Nash (8,389) and Fitzpatrick (8,379) after the eighth count.

Fine Gael candidate John McGahon has been eliminated.


The results from the eighth count.

Fine Gael candidate and cathaoirleach of Dundalk Municipal District John McGahon is officially out. Now, his votes are being distributed.

John McGahon has been eliminated.

Fergus O’Dowd’s team say they are expecting in the region of 1,500 to 1,800 transfers from Fine Gael running mate John McGahon. However, Mark Dearey’s people would tell you something similar. This is going to be quite something. We expect we’re 30 minutes away. Could be wrong. It has happened before.

And this word is being used over and over again – recount. Could it happen? Keep it here, on LouthNow.ie and on Twitter – @LouthNow.


Early suggestions for how well O’Dowd would do off McGahon’s transfers were low. He ended up getting much more – 2,674. He now sits at 10,159.

We will only have one more count left after this. We are almost there. Likely none of the three will reach the quota of 11,778.

The next count will decide the final three seats in the Louth constituency. It will be three of four from Fergus O’Dowd, Declan Breathnach, Peter Fitzpatrick and Ged Nash. O’Dowd looks comfortable after that count. He’ll be fine. This will be close.



Dearey Gone

The Green Party’s Mark Dearey has been eliminated.

You would think Ged Nash will do very well indeed from Mark Dearey’s transfers. This will surely carry him, currently sixth, past Declan Breathnach and into office. Breathnach and Fitzpatrick would both be seeking geographical votes from Dearey but they could cancel each other out here.

If we’re calling it, we’d say O’Dowd (FG), Nash (Lab) and Fitzpatrick (Ind) are going to fill these three remaining seats.

Remember, all 8,497 votes from Mark Dearey have to be distributed among the remaining four candidates. This will take a while and then with that many votes, lots can change. It is open.

1,521 votes separate Fergus O’Dowd in third and Ged Nash in sixth. There are 8,497 to work with. This can all change. Is O’Dowd safe? Tell us what you think at [email protected]

Some suggestions that Breathnach will not emerge victorious from this, the final count. It seems his hope that he might pull in some Dundalk votes from Dearey will be in vain, ultimately.

Elsewhere, TheJournal.ie report that only seven candidates – all Sinn Féin – polled more than Imelda Munster nationwide yesterday. She received 17,203 here in Louth to break the all time record for polling in the constituency.

I would estimate we are at least 45 minutes – maybe an hour – until we hear the results of the final count here in Dundalk. The second day of the count has rattled along nice and quickly. This is Mairead Ahern, she is the Returning Officer here in the Louth constituency. She is the woman who will announce the results when they’re ready.

Mairead Ahern
Returning Officer Mairead Ahern.


No official word yet but Declan Breathnach is gone. Peter Fitzpatrick, Ged Nash and Fergus O’Dowd will be returned in the Louth constituency.

Louth has elected in no particular order

    • Imelda Munster (Sinn Fein)
    • Ruairi O Murchu (Sinn Fein)
    • Peter Fitzpatrick (Independent)
    • Fergus O’Dowd (Fine Gael)
    • Ged Nash (Labour)

The final count has not yet been announced. But these five have won the seats in this constituency. More to follow.

Peter Fitzpatrick has been posing for photos with his family here in the count centre. He’s in a celebratory mood. We await the final count results but Fitzpatrick is in for a third term. Declan Breathnach (Fianna Fáil), expected by many to be comfortable in retaining his seat, is out.

He is the only one of four sitting TDs who ran again to miss out. Gerry Adams stood down.


Fianna Fáil’s Declan Breathnach was the big casualty in Louth as Labour’s Ged Nash regained the seat he lost in 2016. He joins Imelda Munster, Ruairi O Murchu, Fergus O’Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick as the five TDs who will represent Louth in the next Dáil Éireann.

The candidates are now speaking to those assembled at the Carnbeg Hotel here. Ruairi O Murchu starting off. Thanks everyone who has helped through the campaign, including Mairead Ahern. Now, it’s Ged Nash. “I’ve been thinking for the last four years what I would say if I got back here. This time four years ago was a difficult time for me. I lost the election and that very week I lost my father-in-law Joe.”


Fianna Fáil’s Declan Breathnach was the big casualty in Louth as Labour’s Ged Nash regained the seat he lost in 2016. He joins Imelda Munster, Ruairi O Murchu, Fergus O’Dowd and Peter Fitzpatrick as the five TDs who will represent Louth in the next Dáil Éireann.

After the tenth count at The Carnbeg Hotel in Dundalk, Nash, O’Dowd and Fitzpatrick were returned after the distribution of Mark Dearey’s votes. He was the last man to be eliminated. His 8,497 votes were spread among all four candidates still in the race at the end.

Ged Nash received 3,021 to take his tally to 11,659, Fergus O’Dowd got 1,123 to bring his total to 11,282 and Peter Fitzpatrick ended on 10,779 after getting 1,791 transfers from Dearey from the Green Party.

On another historic day in Louth, Breathnach’s loss means that for the first time in the history of the state Louth has no Fianna Fáil deputy in the Dáil. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick’s election means he is the first Independent to be returned in Louth since James Coburn in 1933.


We are done here. That’s all for the #LouthLive election special blog. Keep it on LouthNow.ie for reaction from candidates and others plus more analysis on how this has all played out. What an extraordinary few days here in Dundalk. Records have been broken – some wanted, some not so much.

But for now, we’re done. Read all about it on LouthNow.ie later. I’ve been Barry Landy. From all the team here, goodbye!

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