Sinn Fein acknowledges ‘difficult day’ with local election losses
The party’s three European Parliament seats also look in doubt.
Sinn Fein is facing challenging election results in Ireland, with dozens of losses projected across local councils.
There is also doubt over whether the party will be able to hold on to its three outgoing MEPs in the Irish Republic, with Dublin candidate Lynn Boylan having a nervous wait.
The party is expected to suffer council losses in Dublin city, as well as Cork city, Galway, Limerick, Offaly and Cavan.
She was first elected in 2014, and served as Mayor of South Dublin in 2015.
Ms Holland is the daughter of greengrocer Harry Holland, 65, who was murdered in Belfast in 2007.
Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill expressed her commiserations to Ms Holland, tweeting: “Disappointed for you Sarah. Keep your head up, you will be back”.
An exit poll commissioned by RTE forecasts that Sinn Fein’s vote share in the local government election could be 12%.
That would represent a drop of three percentage points from the 15% support it won at the local government election in 2014.
Dublin TD Louise O’Reilly said she did not see the drop in vote share coming.
She shied away from analysing the developing situation on Sunday morning, saying it is something the party will examine in detail afterwards.
She told RTE: “We are going to have to analyse what went wrong.
“It’s a difficult day (for the candidates).”
However, the party is likely to be buoyed by the expected election of one of its new candidates, former MMA fighter Paddy Holohan on South Dublin County Council.
“That’s the nature of local elections,” she said. “I am not exactly sure where we are going to land, we will have a lot of counting and a lot of long nights ahead of us.”
However Ms McDonald was defiant when asked whether her leadership is at risk.
“Notwithstanding our disappointment, Sinn Fein remains a very strong organisation.”
The elections come following a disappointing performance for the party in the 2018 presidential election.
Party candidate Liadh Ni Riada attracted 93,987 votes, finishing in fourth place.
It was a significant drop from the 2011 presidential election in which the late Martin McGuinness scored 243,030 votes, finishing third.
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