McGrath and Cahill retain Tipperary seats

Two TDs in the Tipperary constituency – who have devoted much of their focus in the Dáil to agriculture and rural issues – have retained their seats in General Election 2020.

Independent candidate Mattie McGrath and Fianna Fáil’s Jackie Cahill have both now been deemed elected in the five-seat constituency.

The Tipperary count is now complete. Apart from McGrath and Cahill, the other successful candidates are independent Michael Lowry; Sinn Féin’s Martin Browne; and Labour’s Alan Kelly.

Lowry was the stand-out performer, surpassing the quota on the first count with 14,802 first preferences.

McGrath was elected on the eighth count, after a transfer of votes took him above the quota of 13,632. He finished up with 15,127 votes, 9,321 of which were his own original first preferences.

Cahill was elected on the ninth count. He didn’t reach the quota, but by virtue of all other candidates being eliminated, he has taken the fifth seat there with a vote of 12,939, 7,940 of which were his own original first preferences.

The election in Tipperary almost never went ahead following the death of an independent candidate early last week.

The returning officer for the constituency announced on Monday, February 3, that the election there would be postponed after the death of candidate Marese Skehan.

However, Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (who himself as been re-elected in Dublin Bay South), made a ‘special difficulty order’ yesterday evening, Wednesday, February 5, regarding the election. The order allowed the vote to take place in Tipperary.

McGrath was one of the most vocal proponents of the Tipperary poll going ahead.

He had written to Minister Murphy about the issue, highlighting “the legal tension that exists between provisions of the constitution and Section 62 of the Electoral Act 1992, which has been used to countermand the poll in Co. Tipperary”.