Counting is under way across Ireland following the local government elections.
There are early indications that the Green Party is enjoying a surge of support.
Leading parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fail’s vote appears to have held up while Sinn Fein and Labour seem likely to see their vote decrease, according to an RTE Red C exit poll.
Irish voters went to the polls on Friday to elect 949 council seats across 31 local authorities.
Some of the notable candidates include UFC fighter Paddy Holohan, who is running for Sinn Fein in hopes of a seat on South Dublin County Council.
Counting started at 9am on Saturday.
The first new councillor to be elected was independent Thomas Welby to Galway County Council.
He topped the poll with 2,140 votes in the Connemara North local electoral area, despite not erecting any election posters.
“I said I’ll canvass on the doors and go plastic free and it went down very well,” he told Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE news.
Sinn Fein President Mary-Lou McDonald reacted to the unfolding election results by congratulating the Green Party on their surge, saying it would be “churlish not to acknowledge that”.
“For our part, I want to say firstly to all of our candidates who fought campaigns for weeks and months and to their families, a very big thank you, and to all of our activists and everyone who came out and voted for Sinn Fein,” she said.
“I want to say particularly to those who won’t be returned to the council chambers, who have served their community with great pride and great commitment, I want to say to them, they’ll be back, I have no doubt and it’ll be our objective from Monday when we recover to win all of those seats back.
“These are very tight contests in many constituencies, last seats will be won or lost in handfuls of votes, that’s the nature of local elections. I am not exactly sure where we are going to land, we will have a lot of counting and a lot of long nights ahead of us.”
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