Fine Gael has announced that it will not pursue legal action with regard to the outcome of the election count for Longford-Westmeath.
The decision was announced by Fine Gael’s press office last Friday evening, March 11. The news will be a surprise to many after the mammoth six-day count in Kenagh saw Fine Gael Deputy James Bannon lose his seat by the small margin of six votes. Mr Bannon had the right to apply to the High Court to have the election examined within 14 days of the count if he so wished.
Mr Bannon was eliminated after the completion of the 14th count. The Longford man had called a second recount on Monday night (February 29 ) and emerged with a 16-vote lead over his neighbour and political rival, Labour’s Willie Penrose. However, the recount also confirmed the election of Cllr Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, whose 72-vote surplus altered the balance in favour of Deputy Penrose by six votes, knocking Bannon out of the race.
Mr Bannon had indicated at the time that he might challenge the outcome in the courts. He told journalists he would seek advice on whether or not to pursue the legal option, but it now appears that he may run for election to the Seanad instead.