Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.45 9 Jul 2021


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Ivana Bacik is on a level with Labour greats Michael D Higgins and Mary Robinson, according to party leader Alan Kelly.

Senator Bacik looks set to win the Dublin Bay South by election and be elected to the Dáil for the first time.

Tallies suggest she is on 30% of the vote with Fine Gael’s James Geoghegan on 26% and Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan close to 16%.

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Counting began at the RDS at 9am this morning, with first result counts expected early this afternoon.

Speaking at the count centre, Labour leader Alan Kelly said senator Bacik is "up there on that pedestal" with some of the biggest names in Labour’s history - including Presidents Michael D Higgins and Mary Robinson.

“She is somebody who has I suppose from a Labour Party perspective, somebody we have admired for many years,” he said.

“She has been a member with us all her adult life and hopefully today is going to be her day and she will be elected to Dáil Éireann.

“She put in an incredibly hard performance. She was somebody who literally out morning, noon and night with a fantastic campaign team.”

He said it was a “hugely mobilising campaign” for the party.

“We had people from literally every corner of Ireland from Kerry to Donegal,” he said. “We had so many canvassers we actually didn’t know what to do with them.

“It was a huge energetic campaign and it was a positive campaign. There has been a lot of talk about the types of campaigns that were run at the beginning and towards the end of this by-election but the Labour Party and Ivana ran a fantastic, positive campaign about her track record and about all she has achieved in life politically and about all her work locally which is often, I think, understated.”

Also speaking at the count centre, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said it is “very clear from the results that it is Ivana’s day.”

“I want to, on all of our behalf’s extend a very warm congratulations to her on this very significant and comprehensive victory for her and for her family.

“Also, to say that it is now clear we have a Government living on borrowed time. It's very clear that the Government's support in the constituency has collapsed and they have been found out - and nowhere more so than in the whole area of housing policy.”

The tallies suggest the Green Party’s Claire Byrne took home just under 8% of the vote while Fianna Fáil’s Deirdre Conroy was under 5% and Independent Mannix Flynn was on 3%.

The tallies are not official counts but provide an indication of the likely result.

With reporting from Sean Defoe


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