The race to become Ireland’s first directly-elected mayor is down to the final few hurdles, after the Sinn Fein candidate was eliminated from the contest.

Maurice Quinlivan was the 11th candidate to been eliminated from the landmark election.

The second day of counting got under way on Tuesday morning, with the winning candidate set to be confirmed late this evening.

Mr Quinlivan’s votes will now be distributed among the remaining candidates, which includes the independent frontrunner John Moran, independent candidate Helen O’Donnell, as well as Fianna Fail’s Dee Ryan and Fine Gael’s candidate Daniel Butler.

Sinn Fein’s Maurice Quinlivan is eliminated from the count at Limerick Racecourse (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Moran received a total of 18,308 first preference votes in the first count, and was followed in second place by Ms O’Donnell who received 12,903 votes.

All the candidates fell well short of the 39,873 quota.

Speaking after he was eliminated, Mr Quinlivan said: “It’s a long count. The count is progressing, and I want to thank everybody who came out and voted for myself.

“I really appreciate every single person who took time to come out, but also to thank those people who engaged in the mayoral campaign in the last number of weeks.

“I think it was a really positive campaign. One of the most positive campaigns we have been involved in.

“All the candidates did themselves good. So I want to wish whoever wins all the best for the role.

“It’s a really positive thing for Limerick, and they (winner) will have my full support going forward if they do things that are positive and good and in the best interests of Limerick. If they don’t do that, I will be the first person to hold them to account.

“I want to thank those who campaigned with me and my family and my wife , who has been brilliant.”

Asked about Sinn Fein’s overall performance in the local and European elections, the Limerick TD said the party will learn from what went wrong.

“We went into this campaign (in Limerick) with three local councillors and came out with three local councillors, we lost one and then gained one,” he said.

“We had ambitions to get more, we didn’t get there. That’s the nature of politics. There’s swings and roundabouts.

“We will learn from what went wrong and what went right in some cases. We will sit down and then move forward and talk to our people and I will be out knocking doors.

“I won’t just be talking to people, I will be listening to what they say to me on the doors.”

For the first time ever, Irish citizens will select the first directly-elected mayor, in what is seen as a test case for the rest of the state.

A total of 15 candidates ran for the mayor’s seat.

Dozens of staff are counting the votes at Limerick Racecourse, which is being used as a count centre.

Also attending Tuesday’s count is Mr Moran’s three-year-old dog, Anrai.