Galway West: Catherine Connolly elected on 12th count

Galway Daily news Catherine Connolly named first female Leas Cheann Comhairle in Dáil's history

Catherine Connolly has become the latest candidate to be returned in Galway West as counting begins to wind down.

The Independent TD was re-elected on the 12th count, surging past the quota in Galway West with 12,486 votes after picking up more than 3,500 from Niall Ó Tnuthail.

This leaves just one seat open in the constituency, a competition between sitting Fine TDs Hildegarde Naughton and Seán Kyne.

Naughton is almost certain be returned to the final seat as she hold a 1,500 vote lead over Kyne with 8,536 votes, though she has yet to reach the quota.

Catherine Connolly’s surplus votes will now be redistributed for the final count, but the result is all but foregone in the 13th count.

Kyne, the government Chief Whip, will be the only sitting TD in Galway West who was not returned to their seat after Sinn Féin Mairéad Farrell pushed her way to second place in the polling.