THE fact that the number of Dail seats in Mayo has been reduced from 5 to 4 doesn’t necessarily mean that the constituency count will be shorter.
Returning Officer Fintan Murphy agrees that theoretically the count should end earlier but points out it’s a ‘busy’ field with 16 runners.
The count in 2011 didn’t finish until after 2 p.m. when Dara Calleary (FF), Michelle Mulherin (FG) and John O’Mahony (FG) were deemed elected, O’Mahony without reaching the quota. Enda Kenny (FG) and Michael Ring (FG) took the first two seats earlier.
Fintan Murphy isn’t that confident the Mayo count for the 32nd Dail will be any speedier than last time around.
“It could easily go on as long as the last time," he conceded.
The turnout this time will be in the region of 70,000, quite similar to 2011.
There’s a possibility the count will be adjourned around midnight to resume at 9 am on Sunday.
However, that scenario is deemed unlikely.
In his 20 years as returning officer for Mayo, Mr. Murphy has never presided over a situation where the count was stopped and resumed the following day.
‘I’m hopeful we can keep that streak running," Mr. Murphy stated.