Newly-elected Mayo MEP Maria Walsh vows to work tirelessly for region
THE new star of Fine Gael, Maria Walsh, is celebrating her sensational achievement in becoming a MEP within three months of entering public life for the first time
She secured her success tonight at the Castlebar court centre of the Midlands North West constiutuency of the European Parliement elections amid memorable scenes of celebrations.
The former Rose of Tralee from Shrule, who was added to the ticket by the party on February 22 last, took the third seat after gaining 10,035 votes during the distribution of eliminated Fianna Fáil candidate Brendan Smith's votes.
It brought her total to 107,193, exactly 8,426 ahead of outgoing Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy, who sealed the fourth seat, both of them elected without reaching the quota.
That left independent candidate Peter Casey out in the proverbial cold, losing out by a margin of 20,100.
Speaking from the count centre at the TF Royal Theatre, Maria Walsh said she was overjoyed at being elected.
“I am deeply humbled - a huge, great thank you to all, I am so encouraged and energised by your vote.
"I feel privileged to represent all those in the Midlands North-West and would like to thank everyone who voted for me and assure the entire electorate that I will work tirelessly to represent their best interests.
“It has been a great honour to meet so many throughout the constituency and I feel grateful to have this opportunity to make positive strides for all in this region.
“As a newcomer to the political platform, I am encouraged by your support, and would like to encourage others, who like me don’t fit the traditional political mould, to consider politics. We need diversity to enrich politics.”
Fine Gael’s Director of European Elections, Minister Regina Doherty, said: "I am not surprised but absolutely delighted that the people of the Midlands and North West have chosen to send Maria to Brussels as their representative.
“She will approach her new duties in the same way that she has carried herself throughout the campaign - with energy, passion and true commitment.
“Maria will be a great new addition to the Fine Gael team in Europe and will be part of the party's ongoing work to ensure that Ireland is not only strongly represented in the European Parliament but also best served by the EU and its policies,” Minister Doherty said.
“Deirdre Clune is well in the hunt for a fifth Fine Gael seat in the Ireland South constituency. Hopefully, we’ll have good news there soon,” she added.