Irish General Election 2011 - The Count
A major change has just taken place in Irish party politics now that Fianna Fail which has been the dominant political force in the Republic Of Ireland for about 80 years has been badly humiliated in this week's general election by Fine Gael and Labour. The Green Party lost all six seats.
At the time of posting votes were still being counted but Fine Gael is expected to be the largest party without having an overall majority but the party leader gave a victory speech in the Burlington hotel at 10:00 PM on Saturday. There has been no confirmation yet of any contacts between the political groupings on the formation of a new Government, but a coalition between Fine Gael and Labour remains the only likely option.
I spent a day at the count centre in the RDS and I met a lot of very interesting people from all parts of the world. A journalist with the Guardian newspaper, two students from the UK on their final year project, a news crew from China and many others. I also got punched by a very aggressive female TV camera operator who seemed to be under the impression that she had priority, she moved and tried to bully someone else. I never did find out where she was from.
I also attended a Fine Gale celebration in the Burlington hotel where Enda Kenny made a victory speech.
The count process itself is interesting and is a bit like a sport.
I hope that these photographs give you some idea as to what goes on at a count centre here in Ireland.