Mary Mcternan, Paidi Manning, John Paul Phelan TD, Fidelis Doherty, Rory Doherty and Claire Phelan PICTURE: Vicky Comerford
Re-elected Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has said he is 'delighted, relieved, happy, tired' following his electoral success this morning.
The South Kilkenny man was speaking following his success on Count 8, when he was elected with 13,172 votes. He polled 6,396 first preferences, fewer than his 2016 result (7,568).
"All of the above," he said.
"I suppose it was fairly obvious yesterday from the tally there wasn't enough votes for two Fine Gael seats. So it was a long day and a half."
Once the tallies were in, in which the last areas were the Piltown district and the Callan-Thomastown district, it was clear he was already ahead of his Kilkenny running mate Patrick O' Neill. Deputy Phelan wished him well and also outgoing TD Pat Deering, who lost his seat.
"I feel personally very disappointed for Pat Deering - he's been a very close friend," he said.
"It's unusual in political parties that constituency colleagues are really good friends, not least in Carlow-Kilkenny. But myself and Pat never had a cross word in nine years in the Oireachtas.
"Now we had the benefit of having two different counties, which helps; the River Barrow is a nice big boundary. But for him and Paula and their two kids and family, but there will be another day for Pat Deering."