IFA election: Cullinan ahead and Woods out after first count

With additional reporting by Breifne O’Brien at the count centre in Castleknock

Tim Cullinan is in the lead in the IFA presidential election at the conclusion of the first count, with 8,334 votes cast in his favour.

Meanwhile, Angus Woods has been eliminated after the first round, with 7,149 votes going his way. This leaves it as a two-horse race between Co. Tipperary’s Cullinan and Co. Cork’s John Coughlan, who has achieved 7,402 votes thus far.

The second preference votes from Woods will now be distributed in the second count, after which, a clear winner is expected to emerge.

The second count is now getting underway immediately, following the announcement of the first count results.

22,998 votes were cast in total for the three candidates. Of these, 113 ballot papers were spoiled, leaving a total valid poll of 22,885.

The counting of votes began early this morning, Tuesday, December 17, at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin, and followed on from the voting procedure that took place at IFA meetings around the country between November 25 and last Friday, December 13.

The three-way campaign began on October 21, when a series of hustings at various locations around the country began.

These debates concluded on November 21.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that Pat Murphy has been elected as regional chairperson for Connacht.