Irish Republican News · September 16, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: ‘Bitter’ unionists get election court hearing
‘Bitter’ unionists get election court hearing
rodneyconnor.jpg

Ulster Unionists were accused of “sour grapes” at a court hearing in Tyrone over attempts by Unionist unity candidate Rodney Connor, who lost out by four votes, to declare void Sinn Fein’s victory in the Westminster election in May.

The UUP’s Tom ElIiott complained that they were unaware during the election count of where and when “doubtful votes” were being scrutinised.

Paul Maguire QC, representing the election officers, put it to the Assembly member that the objections being lodged were little more than an attempted cover-up at the “amateurish approach” his side had taken at the count.

“Is this really not a case of sour grapes?

“Are these complaints not simply a grievance because you had not organised yourselves properly to deal with this situation?” Mr Elliott rejected the claim, maintaining that complaints had been made by others on the night.

The court also heard that the “doubtful votes” table was “clearly marked and anyone interested could have seen what was happening there”.

The table had a large sign on it in bold black letters and an even bigger sign on the wall adjacent, which Mr Maguire said made it “unmistakable”. Mr Elliott said he was not aware of any signs and did not see them.

The court also heard that eight “extra votes” allegedly found in the ballot box numbered 59, taken from Holy Trinity Primary School in Enniskillen, have now been accounted for. The law lords were told that a re-count of the votes issued in the polling station had indeed amounted to 392 and not 384 as returned by the presiding officer.

Mark Orr QC, for Mr Connor, who has now finished calling evidence on behalf of the unionist unity candidate, said it was now accepted that the votes were no longer in contention.

© 2010 Irish Republican News