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Independent candidate claims election was ‘rigged’


CHALLENGE Independent candidate Gerry O’Boyle.

Gerry O’Boyle set to launch High Court application to re-run Mayo election

Edwin McGreal

A defeated Mayo candidate in the general election is to launch a High Court bid to have the constituency’s result declared null and void and a new election called.
Independent candidate Gerry O’Boyle received just 126 first preference votes, but he claims ‘there was a thousand votes robbed off me’.
Mr O’Boyle further claims that he lost a lot of votes in Claremorris and Ballyhaunis, claiming votes went ‘missing’ sometime between the polling stations closing on Friday night and the count starting in the Royal Theatre in Castlebar on Saturday morning.
Ballyhaunis-based O’Boyle said he is lodging High Court application papers this week and applying to get the ‘General Election Mayo four-seater recalled as a new election’.
“I’ve had people contact me from all over the county who said they voted for me and it didn’t come through. I’m not in this to get a seat. I know my vote wouldn’t be that high, but I expected to get 1,000 to 1,200 first preferences,” Mr O’Boyle told The Mayo News last night.
“For instance, in the Crossboyne box I have nine dead certs there, and only one vote came up on the tally. We have a whistleblower in relation to what I am saying, but I am not willing to say any more about the whistleblower, as there is a legal case pending. We’ve enough evidence. Independents were targeted. You might think I’m mad, but I’m not. It was a total fraud,” he added.

Mr O’Boyle said some other Independent candidates in Mayo are supporting his application.
When it was put to him that his total of 126 votes in Mayo was not out of sync with his previous election performance in the Roscommon-South Leitrim by-election in 2014, when he polled just 82 votes, Mr O’Boyle disagreed.
“I did not have a strong campaign in Roscommon, I did no canvassing and am not from that county. This time I’d the profile and the work done. I was the highest profile Independent next to Jerry Cowley, and I got the second lowest vote.
“Something went wrong. I’m not a whinger. I’m a fair sport player. I can take my beating. I’m not a child throwing my rattle out of the cradle. I know I’m right here,” he said.
Returning Officer for Mayo Fintan Murphy told The Mayo News that he is ‘satisfied’ that the Mayo election had a ‘very robust security system in place’ to ensure the safety of each of the ballot boxes.
He said the ballot boxes were all brought from the polling stations by Garda escort to the count centre in Castlebar, where they were supervised by an armed garda, an unarmed garda and a member of Mr Murphy’s count staff for all of Friday night. He said no locks were opened on any ballot box until 8.30am on Saturday morning.
He added that two gardaí, one armed, and one of his staff also stayed with the votes for all of Saturday night until the count resumed on Sunday morning.