A full recount is a real possibility in Donegal

Donegal count latest

A full recount is a real possibility in Donegal

The partial recheck of some candidates' votes is ongoing at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny, as the county registrar adjudicates on disputed ballots.

Sinn Féin candidate, Cllr. Gary Doherty said that if discrepancies are discovered in the recheck, it opens up the possibility of a recount.

"At this stage I wouldn't call it one way or another, if it happens or not," he said. "But it certainly opens the possibility."

The recheck comes as sitting TDs Pádraig MacLochlainn of Sinn Féin and independent Thomas Pringle look set in a dogfight for the fifth seat in the constituency. After the second count there were just under 1,500 votes separating Deputy Pringle, at 7,522, from Deputy MacLochlainn, at 6,032.

Sinn Féin had requested the recheck in the early hours of Sunday, when the seventh count showed a mere seven-vote margin between Sinn Féin candidate Cllr. Gary Doherty and independent candidate Cllr. Dessie Shiels.

Fianna Fáil's Charlie McConalogue was elected yesterday, and while results so far indicate that Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty, Fine Gael's Joe McHugh and Fianna Fáil's Pat "the Cope" Gallagher look set to take seats, the fifth is still up for grabs.

The recheck involves the 18,160 votes of Gary Doherty, Dessie Shiels and Pearse Doherty, TD.

Cllr. Doherty said a recount might be in the cards, "because the gap is so small, but it has huge implications on who will hold that final seat."

Sinn Féin called for the recheck after Cllr. Gary Doherty was to be eliminated after the seventh count. Deputy Pearse Doherty is about 1,000 votes short of the quota, and Sinn Féin had hoped that Cllr. Shiels would have been eliminated before Cllr. Doherty, pushing Deputy Doherty closer to election and enabling Deputy MacLochlainn to benefit more from Cllr. Gary Doherty's distributed transfers.

"We try to tell people at the doors that every vote counts, but it really, really does," Cllr. Doherty said.