A full recount has been announced for the Ireland South constituency’s ballot papers in the European election, which could take up to 28 working days and cost up to €1 million, according to the constituency returning officer.

The recount will not get underway until Tuesday, June 4, and will take longer due to less staff remaining on following the election.

Returning officer Martin Harvey made the announcement in Nemo, Co. Cork, today, saying: “Having completed the recheck of Liadh Ní Riada and Grace O’Sullivan’s papers, Liadh Ní Riada has confirmed that she wishes to proceed with a full recount of all the papers.”

At present, Seán Kelly of Fine Gael and Billy Kelleher of Fianna Fáil have both been elected to the European Parliament, having reached the required quota of votes.

Independents 4 Change candidate Mick Wallace is also on course to take a seat, while sitting Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune to a lesser extent looks likely to cross the line.

The remaining fifth seat, which will not become active until the UK leaves the EU, is being contested by Ní Riada and by the Green Party candidate Grace O’Sullivan.

A recheck took place earlier today of Ní Riada’s and O’Sullivan’s votes, of which Ní Riada received a single vote from nearly 200,000.

According to RTÉ, O’Sullivan’s election agent, Ed Davitt, expressed disappointment at the news, stating that it has “serious implications for the makeup of the new European Parliament and Commission given the recount is unlikely to be concluded before mid-July”.

Sinn Féin’s director of elections Jonathan O’Brien defended the move, according to RTÉ, saying that in essence only 2% of all the 750,000 votes cast were checked.

Asked about the cost, he said he would not put a price on democracy.