The fourth MEP for the newly enlarged Midlands Northwest constituency is Independent Marian Harkin.
Confirmation that she’d beaten FF’s Pat the Cope Gallagher by the narrowest of margins - just 275 votes - came at 4am this morning. This followed a 16-hour recheck of all the ballots at the count centre in Castlebar, in the fifth day of one of the longest counts in memory.
This is the third term as MEP for the Sligo native, who was first elected in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009.
As soon as the news was confirmed, she tweeted “Recheck rechecked, last MEP in Europe elected! Thank you to all volunteers who turned up today, those planning to come tomo can have a lie in.”
Speaking to media, she paid tribute to Pat the Cope Gallagher, saying she would have preferred that it would have been “anyone else but him” pitted against her in the final countdown.
She also said she hopes that all the newly elected MEPs will “work together” over the coming years for the common good.
Joining her in the European Parliament will be Independent Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan who topped the poll in the constituency, and Fine Gael’s Mariead McGuinness and Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy, who finished second and third highest in the counts. Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins was eliminated on the fourth count.