PHOTOS: Curtain Comes Down On A Weekend Of Drama In Killarney

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Jimmy Deenihan is consoled by Brenda Somers and Peggy Dowling after he lost his seat on Sunday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

IT’S all over now…for the moment anyway.

An exhausting weekend in Killarney for candidates and their loyal supporters came to an end on Sunday night after all the successful politicians had been elected just after 8pm.

Brendan Griffin, Martin Ferris and John Brassil were hoisted on high by their supporters and the celebrations began in earnest, with the winning and losing candidates afforded to chance to  make a speech from the podium.

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Arthur Spring making his speech from the podium on Sunday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

It was a sad day for the former Fine Gael Minister Jimmy Deenihan who lost his seat and retires after 30 years in politics. In his speech he thanked the people of Kerry for their support over the years and said he and Arthur Spring of Labour were partly victims of tough decisions made by the Government in the past five years.

Arthur Spring congratulated the winning candidates and praised his own team for their tireless work in the campaign. He said it was a difficult day for the party, but they would survive the result. He also paid tribute to Jimmy Deenihan whom he said has made an enormous contribution to society, not just in Kerry, but nationwide.

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The winning candidates also paid tribute to their workers on the ground and had words of condolence and congratulations for candidates.

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Brendan Griffin with wife Róisín and children Breandán and Micheál at the count centre on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Fine Gael’s Brendan Griffin said he will not let the people of Kerry down. He paid tribute to the losing candidates, especially his close friend Arthur Spring whom he said did fantastic work and was sure he would be back. He also paid tribute  to his mentor Jimmy Deenihan who gave him a chance. He said the former Minister was “the hardest working man I ever came across and wish you well for the future”.

Deputy Griffin also thanked his political team and especially his parents and his wife Róisín.

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John Brassil with his mother Mary at the count centre on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Fianna Fail’s John Brassil said it gave him no pleasure to be elected on the day that Jimmy Deenihan lost his seat. “He’s a true gentlemen of politics and a great friend of mine. You’ve served the people of Kerry well,” he said.

He thanked the Fianna Fail team in Kerry, the canvassers and especially Norma Moriarty, whose transfers, he said, brought him over the line. “We worked so well together. You’re a gentle and very kind woman, with a great future in politics and I thank you sincerely,” he said.

He had special thanks for his family for their support, including his mother Mary. “She had a very bad year of health and she’s here tonight. I hope today is the start of your return to good health,” he said.

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Martin Ferris speaking on Sunday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris also had kind words for the losing candidates, especially Jimmy Deenihan, whom he said he has known over 40 years from the sporting fields to the political arena.

“We’ve had political rows but we’ve remained friends. He has 33 years as a servant of the people of Kerry and deserves recognition for that,” he said. He also promised the people of Kerry that he would continue to serve them to the best of his ability.

“I want to assure you, while there is breath in my body, I will do everything in my power to bring about a fairer and more just society and more equality for our people,” he said.

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Danny Healy Rae said the people in Dublin just don’t get it and while the politicians pay big money to advisors, the only advisors they have are the people of Kerry.

He credited his father Jackie Healy Rae for the election victory and said they learnt everything from him. He also thanked the army of canvassers and workers on the ground who made the victory possible and also paid tribute to Jimmy Deenihan and the other losing candidates.

Last up was his brother Michael who  said it was a tough year for him after losing his mother and father and two great friends Arthur Lenihan and Bernard Collins.

He promised the people of Kerry that they would work tirelessly and do their best for the people of Kerry.

“You’re trusting us with your vote. In return, what ye’ll get is a sound, solid political service both from myself and Danny and from Cllr Johnny Healy Rae. We’ll do a simple thing always and that is our level best,” he said.

So ended Election 2016 in Kerry. What happens next is anyone’s guess but one thing is certain; no candidate wants to through that again for a while. Scroll down for more photos…

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Cllr Norma Moriarty with Sheila Hickson at the count centre on Sunday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

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Jimmy Deenihan being interviewed on Radio Kerry. Photo by Dermot Crean

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This bird was an interested onlooker in the count centre on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

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RTE’s Joe Stack attempts to recover part of his microphone after it fell from the balcony on Sunday night. His colleague Sean Mac An tSíthigh captures the moment for posterity. Photo by Dermot Crean

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Brendan Griffin with his parents Michael and Betty at the count centre on Sunday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

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Cllr Norma Foley chats to Maria O’Gorman at the count centre on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

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Cllr Norma Moriarty making her speech on Sunday night. Photo by Dermot Crean

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Deputy John Brassil with his mother Mary and family at the count centre on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

 

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Michael and Danny Healy Rae with Luke Keane from Knocknagoshel on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

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