The counting of Laois local election votes has finally begun in the Portlaoise Municipal District.
Returning Officer Donal Brennan announced at about 3.30pm on Sunday that votes would commence in the seven-seat electoral are, the biggest the county's municipal districts.
He also announced that doubtful votes would be checked that have emerged from a six-hour check of ballot papers.
Checking continues in both the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District and the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District.
Tight contests are on the cards in all three electoral areas for the 19 seats on offer.
A first count is expected on Sunday evening.