Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher put the loss of his Dáil seat in Donegal down to transfers and the "Sinn Féin Tsunami".
"We all suffered as a result of it. I didn't think it would happen to me but it has happened," he said.
"I think there is only one winner and that is my wife. She won't be getting me ready to head off on a Monday night or a Tuesday morning for Dublin and waiting for me over the weekend. "
The Dungloe politician, who was first elected to the Dáil in 1981, lost his seat after finishing 358 votes behind Fianna Fáil colleague Charlie McConalogue in a dramatic conclusion to the Letterkenny count. He said it was too early to decide whether he would run again.
On whether Fianna Fáil should go into government with Sinn Féin, he would not be drawn.
"I have views on that but that is a matter for the party. I don't have a vote so, therefore, I am not going to interfere in the internal affairs of the parliamentary party," he said.
He said he was disappointed for his campaign team and everyone who had worked with him during the election.
"I am disappointed that I will be not able to provide a service for the people of Donegal, but I have no doubt that the five TDs that are elected will be able to provide a good service for the people of Donegal."
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