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Donegal returns five TDs after bruising campaign 29.02.16

THE dust is beginning to settle in Co Donegal after a bruising general election that saw five TDs elected to represent the county for the next five years.
Fianna Fáil TD., Charlie McConalogue produced a stunning result, topping the poll and comfortably surpassing the 12,218 quota with a surplus. It was a longer wait until his party colleague Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher; Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty and Fine Gael's Joe McHugh got over the line. The fifth and final seat produced a nail-biting dogfight between Killybegs Independent Thomas Pringle and Sinn Féin's Pádraig MacLochlainn with the Buncrana man ultimately becoming the biggest casualty of General Election 2016 in Donegal.
The five TDs elected to represent Donegal in the General Election 2016.
Sinn Féin will be reflecting for some time on its decision to run three Donegal candidates in a year when the number of available seats had reduced from six to five due to a constituency shake-up.
MacLochlainn was one of almost 50 sitting TDs who failed to get re-elected. Other notable casualties nationwide included Labour ministers Kathleen Lynch and Alex White and Fine Gael deputy leader, Dr James Reilly.
Notably in Donegal, Independents including Letterkenny solicitor Dessie Shiels; Twin Towns' candidate Tim Jackson and Killybegs-based Niamh Kennedy, polled well in their first outings as national election candidates.
Total voter turn-out in Donegal was 62.8% compared to a national turnout of 65.2%. From an electorate of 117,675, there were 73,303 valid votes and 654 spoiled votes.
Meanwhile, as local celebrations and commiserations continue for the next few days and counting continues today in several other constituencies, all eyes will turn to the national stage to see if a stable government can be formed.
Regardless of the possible permutations, choices and soul-searching, one thing is certain - people who polled superbly well, like McConalogue and those who got in by a whisker, like Pringle, will have no appetite for doing it all over again.
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