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*Cllr Mary Howard (FG) and James Breen. Photograph: John Mangan

Former Independent TD and retired Clare councillor James Breen admits the rise of Violet-Anne Wynne (SF) has shocked political followers in the county. 

Initial Prediction: Cathal Crowe (FF), Pat Breen (FG), Timmy Dooley (FF) & AN OTHAIR

“It wasn’t what I expected but it was very easy to call it early on Sunday morning that there would be one Independent, one Sinn Féin, one Fianna Fáil and one Fine Gael when you saw the way Michael McNamara was voting and the vote for Violet-Anne Wynne there wasn’t going to be two Fine Gael seats and it worked that way”.

“My goodness, for a candidate that was unknown throughout the county, the votes she got everywhere really surprised people, they couldn’t understand it. The wave was with Sinn Féin like it was with the Greens in the Council election. Young people want change, they did change it. Having said that I would like to commiserate with Pat Breen and Timmy Dooley on losing their seat. I stood outside the count centre on a few different occasions fighting for the last seat, it is very traumatic on them and their families, I would like to commiserate with Pat and Timmy”.

“I hope the four Clare TDs in the thirty third Dáil will cast their political allegiance aside and work for the people that elected them from this county, we want major improvements in the health service, we want major improvements in the infrastructure and on the N85 where nothing has been done for the last forty years”.

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