Northern Ireland news

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan 'does not regret' Fine Gael run for Dublin seat

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan

FORMER SDLP leader Mark Durkan was last night eliminated from the count in the Dublin constituency where he was standing as a Fine Gael candidate.

He has conceded early in the day that he was unlikely to win a seat in the European Parliament, after polling just 16,473 votes.

That was in a constituency where Green Party candidate Ciaran Cuffe topped the poll with 63,849 votes, Fine Gael's Frances Fitzgerald polling 59,067 votes and Fianna Fail's Andrew Barry attracting 51,420 first preferences.

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Independent Clare Daly gained 42,305 votes, ahead of Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan on 39,387.

"I’m not in here believing I am going to defy the gravity of the exit poll," he told the Press Association.

"But I don't regret running, I've enjoyed the conversations with people across Dublin, I’ve enjoyed it as an experience.

"I've enjoyed listening to the arguments and the ideas of other candidates as well, I have huge respect for a range of other candidates."

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Mr Durkan added that voters cared less about Brexit than domestic issues.

And he said he did not regret standing for the Fine Gael, despite the SDLP having agreed a partnership with the its rival Fianna Fail.

He had previously been talked of as an SDLP candidate for his old constituency of Foyle in any future British general election.

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