Gerry Adams elected as he advises party to remain on election footing

Gerry Adams at the count centre in Louth last night
Gerry Adams at the count centre in Louth last night

The first results are in from Louth and it is two seats for Sinn Fein but leader Gerry Adams isn't ruling out another election very soon.

Adams, along with party colleague Imelda Munster, have just been declared as elected in the Louth constituency but last night he warned Sinn Fein members and supporters to be ready for another election.

"We advised all of our candidates to stay on election footing," Mr Adams said in Dundalk last night.

"We advised our people to take down the posters and hide them away because we could be back again very, very soon. Now that might not happen, if a government is formed, but we are certainly staying on election footing," he added.

While the majority of criticism so far has been directed towards other party leaders such as Enda Kenny and Joan Burton, there are some questions being posed of Adams too.

A Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll in February last year had the party holding 26pc of the vote.

However, the first preference percentage the party managed was just 13.8pc.

Questions over Mr Adams's leadership dogged Sinn Fein throughout the campaign, but he secured his seat in Louth and brought his running mate Imelda Munster with him.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, who is tipped to succeed Mr Adams, just missed out on winning her seat on the first count but eventually topped the poll.

The party's Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness decided to attack the decision to try Thomas 'Slab' Murphy before the Special Criminal Court on the day of the election count.

He said that throughout the trial Murphy and the people of south Armagh were subject to an unfair level of accusation.

Mr McGuinness said: "I think it's not lost on the electorate out there, who watched the shenanigans that took place during the course of the election and how different decisions were made, and I think those decisions were made to have an impact on the election and that is totally and absolutely undemocratic.

"Many people have been asking questions as to why Tom Murphy was brought before the Special Criminal Court for basically failing to pay taxes allegedly on a part-time wage," he said.