Paul Quinn: Conor Murphy Issues Apology

Paul Quinn: Conor Murphy Issues Apology

The latest polls showed both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail faltering at the expense of a surging Sinn Fein headed by Mary Lou McDonald, who was threatening to upend a duopoly of power shared by the two centrist parties since the Republic of Ireland's founding. "In this country, for far too long it's been dominated by two parties", said 60-year-old James Comiskey.

Ireland could be in for more protracted government-formation talks if this election produces another fractured result.

Some 3.3 million people have the right to vote to elect 159 members of the Dail, the lower house of Parliament in Dublin.

"I said to Mary Lou, you are the head of Sinn Féin, you are a mother, and if your son's name was blackened, would you fight tooth and nail to clear it, and she said she sure would", said Mrs Quinn.

Mrs Quinn told the BBC's Stephen Nolan Show: "She said that Conor Murphy's apology was honest, I said yes, but there is a couple of words he hasn't said and he needs to say them publicly to give us peace of mind".

For either to change their position would represent a major U-turn.

RTE reported a high turnout across the nation by 1700 GMT - with Dublin county stations reporting an average of 48 percent of votes cast.

Varadkar launched his campaign after successfully helping to broker a deal cushioning the UK's European Union exit on January 31 by avoiding a hard border with British-run Northern Ireland.

But experts suggest that the public's mood may have been miscalculated with surveys indicating that Brexit was a low concern among the electorate. But the party is now attracting voters with left-wing proposals for tackling Ireland's housing crisis and bolstering the nation's creaking health-care system.

Varadkar acknowledged that he understood that on Friday. "It's a three-horse race, three games, all within walking distance of each other".

Out of the 515 candidates, who are either fielded by different political parties or running as independents, more than 160 are women, reported local media, adding that this is the first general election in the country in which there is a female candidate running in every constituency.

But despite Brexit, and landmark votes to overturn strict abortion laws and introduce same-sex marriage, some predict he could be on his way out.

"Varadkar is young, he is gay, he seems to be part of the new Ireland", Eunan O & # 39; Halpin of Trinity College Dublin told the AFP news agency.

"Yet his personal popularity appears to have dipped, and that of his party has dipped very significantly".

Counting begins at 09:00 GMT on Sunday with some results expected from the early afternoon.

But it is thought that Sinn Fein may be unable to find enough like-minded left-leaning allies to form a workable government.

Since 2016, Fianna Fail has supported Fine Gael in the government with a trust and supply agreement that could involve them in the government's perceived failures.

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