Ellis stresses need to re-unite Leitrim

The need to re-unite Co. Leitrim for electoral purposes was stressed by outgoing TD John Ellis as he addressed guests at the close of the count on Friday night last.             Indeed, Leitrim being without a TD was one of the main talking points in the wake of last week’s election and candidates from Leitrim were determined that the decision to split the county for general election purposes would have to be re-examined. The splitting of the constituency was not the only problem that Ellis faced. He also had to face down the challenge posed by Sinn Féin’s Martin Kenny, who polled 3,834 first preference votes.             On the other hand, he received an unexpectedly high number of first preferences in County Roscommon, at 2,092. Yet, in the Strokestown area, which had been allocated to Ellis, Michael Finneran outpolled him by three to one.             Ellis began his speech by noting, ‘we came, we saw, we didn’t conquer’ and went on to compliment the count staff on the way the count was conducted. ‘It’s probably in some people’s eyes a sad day for me but I entered this election with an impossible task. There wasn’t a quota of votes cast in Leitrim. To try and win a seat was an impossibility.’