Two of seven candidates have been elected after the first count in the Listowel Electoral Area local election recount.

The count resumed this afternoon after a Circuit Court Judge ruled 18 of some 32 disputed papers were valid and could be included in the count.

There were a couple of votes in the difference but no real change since 2014.

Once again Fianna Fáil's John Brassil topped the poll, followed by Sinn Féin's Robert Beasley.

Five more seats remain to be filled, and the count will continue well into this evening and again tomorrow.

Earlier today, Returning Officer Charlie O'Sullivan took 32 disputed votes under garda escort to Limerick to be adjudicated on by Circuit Court Judge Tom O'Donnell.

He ruled that 18 of the 32 were valid votes.

Among the 14 excluded were six papers where the perforation was on the counterfoil and not on the ballot paper.

The judge also rejected papers that had any writing on them, including one where the voter had written "Jobs for north Kerry now".

In relation to six papers where the perforation was on the counterfoil, Judge O'Donnell said: "Ballot papers and counterfoils must be treated as separate documents and these did not comply with the legal requirements and so must be rejected in full."

The judge also rejected papers that had any writing on them. 

These included a ballot paper where the voter had written, 'Jobs for north Kerry now' and another ballot where the voter expressed preferences 1, 2 and 3 but put an 'X' alongside every other name. The voter had clarified at the top of the ballot paper: 'X = No'.

Mr O'Sullivan had recommended both of these be accepted as valid because he argued they did not reveal the identity of the voters.

He told Limerick Circuit Court that between 800 and 900 ballot papers were deemed suspect and the 15 candidates or their agents were invited to inspect these.

Following lengthy adjudications, he said the agents failed to reach agreement on 32 ballots.

These were photocopied and remain in a sealed envelope at the count centre at John Mitchels GAA Club in Tralee.

The originals were transported to Limerick under garda escort this morning.

Mr Kiely was represented in court by barrister Liz Murphy instructed by Paul O'Donoghue.

There was also representation in court for Cllr Mike Kennelly (Fine Gael), who won the last seat on the 11th count, beating Mr Kiely by only two votes.

Cllr Jimmy Moloney (FF), Cllrs Aoife Thornton and Liam Purtill (FG) and candidates Michael O'Gorman, Pat Leahy and Katie Ludid-McCabe were also represented in court.

Judge O'Donnell said he wished to acknowledge the hard work of the returning officer and the agents in narrowing the suspect papers down to 32.