OFFICIAL: Michael D. Higgins has been re-elected President of Ireland
Seven more years.
Michael D. Higgins has officially been re-elected President of Ireland by a landslide.
The results, confirmed by Miriam O'Callaghan at Dublin Castle on Saturday evening, are as follows:
1. Michael D. Higgins | 822,566 votes
2. Peter Casey | 342,727
3. Sean Gallagher | 94,514
4. Liadh Ní Riada | 93, 987
5. Joan Freeman | 87,908
6. Gavin Duffy | 32,198
1, 392, 238 people voted overall, with over 18,000 spoiled votes in total.
The President gave a passionate, wide-ranging speech after being officially confirmed, in which he pledged to lead a bright new Ireland into the future.
"It's a very strong result for President Higgins," said Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. "I'm very much looking forward to him spending the next seven years in the Aras."
Labour leader Brendan Howlin described Higgins' victory as "historic".
Meanwhile, the results offered difficult reading for Sinn Féin, who failed to reach their expected plateau of 15%.
"The decision to contest was taken on my watch, and I believe that was the correct decision" said party leader Mary Lou McDonald.
"Just do your best," said a philosophical Sean Gallagher in conversation with Miriam O'Callaghan on Saturday afternoon.
"As with everything else, just do your best. The rest is either in the lap of the gods, or in this case, the hands of the people."
Gallagher also refused to rule out running for the Presidency for a third time, but underlined that that was not a matter to be officially addressed at the moment.
Earlier, Gavin Duffy cut a relaxed figure when speaking with O'Callaghan, noting that he "applied for a job that wasn't available."
On Saturday morning, Peter Casey explained why he believes he enjoyed a surge in popularity as the election drew to a close.
Interviewed on RTÉ's Six One broadcast later that day, Casey once again spoke of the "frustration that people are feeling" with regards to the current governmental structure.
The businessman also once again played down the argument that his comments on the travelling community directly led to a spike in public support.
"The support I received came from the average person who gets up every day, goes to work and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there is light at the end of the tunnel," Casey said.
When questioned if he would stand for public office again, Casey did not rule it out.
"I definitely will be staying involved. Definitely."