Ciaran Cuffe becomes second MEP to lose seat in Dublin

Ciaran Cuffe from the Green Party has become the second MEP in Dublin to lose their seat.

Mr Cuffe’s elimination after the 18th count came one stage after Independents 4 Change MEP Clare Daly exited the race.

Fianna Fail’s Barry Andrews and Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty remain on course to secure two of the four seats after 18 counts.

Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan also looks set for a seat while Independent Ireland’s Niall Boylan and Labour’s Aodhan O Riordain are battling it out for the final spot in Brussels.

Reflecting on the loss of his seat, Mr Cuffe suggested the issue of migration had dominated the European election campaign over concerns about the climate.

“I think we have seen the rise of those voices who don’t feel the state should be involved in helping the most vulnerable and I think I certainly have campaigned all my life to help the most vulnerable in society. I’ll continue to do that and my party will continue to do that,” he said.

“I think we need a green and a social transition. We need to help, particularly those who are facing difficult circumstances, and I think we need to be building bridges, not erecting walls in Europe.”

Mr Cuffe added: “I think what characterised the 2019 election was the extraordinary urgency of the need to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. I don’t think those issues have gone away. It’s a bit like having a hole in the roof of your house and saying ‘ah, we’ll get around to that in a few years’ time’.

“I think we absolutely have to face up to climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, we have to ensure a green transition, but clearly at a European level the issue of migration featured very strongly.

“It had to, given that the issue has been on the front page for a long time and that we really have had challenges in accommodating 100,000 Ukrainians and others who have fled persecution and violence, so that did dominate a lot of the campaign.”

Earlier, Ms Daly insisted she had no interest in speaking to the media as she left the Dublin count centre after losing her seat as an MEP.

European and local elections
Independents 4 Change candidate Clare Daly on her way out of the count centre at the RDS in Dublin (Gareth Chaney/PA)

The outspoken Independents 4 Change candidate was knocked out of the race after the 17th count.

Several reporters asked Ms Daly to comment as she left the RDS count centre after being eliminated.

She declined.

When approached by RTE, she said: “You had no interest in talking to me for five years, so I’ve no interest in talking to you.”

Ms Daly then walked out of the centre along with a group of supporters.

Brid Smith of People Before Profit – Solidarity was eliminated on the previous count.

Reflecting afterwards, she said left-wing parties in Ireland needed to “cop on” and encourage more vote transferring between themselves.

European People Before Profit-Solidarity candidate Brid Smith
European People Before Profit-Solidarity candidate Brid Smith (Gareth Chaney/PA)

Veteran activist Ms Smith said she was encouraged to have secured support from places and voters that would not ordinarily be thought of as sympathetic to the political left.

She said she believed the narrative around the advance of the far right was “overstated”, albeit still “worrying”.

“I think it’s worrying that far-right candidates can move in and get council seats, but not that many,” she told the PA news agency.

“But what we have to do on the left is to be more cohesive and more coherent and transfer more strongly to each other.

“Like Fianna Fail and Fine Gael transfer strongly to each other and the left needs to cop on and vote left and transfer left.

“We said that right throughout this election campaign, it’s been one of our slogans, and we think that that needs to happen from here on in. If that happens, it would marginalise the far right as well.”