Counting continued at a steady pace in the South constituency of Ireland’s European elections after the first of 14 MEPs were elected on Monday night.

Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly became the first of five MEPs in the 10-county constituency to be elected after two days of sorting and counting at Nemo Rangers GAA Club in Co Cork.

He surpassed the quota of 114,761 with 8,000-odd votes to spare.

Count staff began to sort through all Mr Kelly’s votes on Tuesday morning at 9am to proportionately distribute his surplus among the 22 other candidates.

The results of the second count is expected to be announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Several people have remarked on the erratic nature of transfers in Ireland’s European election.

Mr Kelly’s transfers appeared to be going to Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher, who is 20,000 votes short of the quota, more than to Mr Kelly’s running mate John Mullins.

It may be some time before the next MEP is revealed (Jonathan Brady/PA)

After Mr Kelly’s votes are distributed, returning officer Martin Harvey said the candidates on the lowest number of votes will be eliminated one at a time, rather than in groups.

“Three different people will check and give their opinion on who can be eliminated, can they be eliminated together,” he said.

“We’ve an e-count system here on the computer and then the four minds are put together who’ve done the calculations, and we check to see are we all right, and I’m glad to tell you we’re always right. We always have the same answer.”

He said it would be “much later this evening” or Wednesday morning before the next candidate is elected, who is expected to be Mr Kelleher.

Mr Harvey said that once candidates are eliminated, each count will take around an hour.

“Hard to say where second preferences are going, but I’d be very surprised if anything happened before 9pm or 10pm tonight,” he said of when the next MEP would be elected.

“I don’t see us being out of here until Thursday at lunchtime at the earliest.”

Asked whether there was a children’s fun day planned in the hall for Thursday, he gestured to the count and said: “This is a fun day.”

Mr Harvey said that some of the staff reckon the count could finish on Wednesday, and added: “If we can save the fun day, wouldn’t that be great?”