It was an historic day in the Republic of Ireland following the results of the General Election.

The battle between Fianna Fáil (FF) and Fine Gael (FG) to be the biggest party was smashed in spectacular fashion as Sinn Féin collected the most first preference votes and ended the Irish political system duopoly.

With counting ended Fianna Fáil became the largest party with 38 seats, Sinn Féin took 37, while Fine Gael, who were the largest party in government, took 35 seats.

In the days ahead, the responsibility now falls on the leaders of these three parties to find a way to form a government.

Over the course of the election both Fiann Fáil and Fine Gael have said they would not go into government with Sinn Féin, while Sinn Féin said that while they will talk to all parties they would prefer to be in government without those two parties.

For Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Sinn Féin councillor, Chirs McCaffrey, he believes the results of the election is a "momentous leap forward in terms of Irish unity and affecting the type of transformative and positive change that we in Sinn Féin want to bring about on the island of Ireland".

Sinn Féin topped the poll in 30 out of 39 constituencies, beating Micheal Martin party leader of Fianna Fáil and Leo Varadkar the outgoing Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael in their own constituencies.

"During the election campaign we set out and communicated clearly to the electorate in the 26 Counties how we can offer workers and families a break. We focused on key issues that affect the ordinary person such as rent, building homes, restoring the pension age to 65 and taking the first €30,000 people earn out of the Universal Social Charge. The electorate responded to our fair social policies and our credible economic alternatives that we can provide against the duolopy of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who only offer further austerity and hardship, and who do not put the interests of the people first but choose rather to sell out the ordinary person to big banks and developers.

"The electorate voted for change and we are committed to delivering the transformative change they are looking for, we will stay true to the politics and messages that we fought the election campaign on."

Councillor McCaffrey says the elections shows his party have a mandate for government but he knows that depends on being able to secure a programme for a government of change.

He also believes the furore around events following the election of Sinn Féin TDs is deflection by the other parties.

Waterford TD David Cullinane was filmed saying "Up the RA" while Dublin North-West TD Dessie Erris and supporters sang "Come Out You Black and Tans" following election.

"Having failed in their efforts to distract voters from the political issues and austerity inflicted by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the media are now desperately trying but again failing in their attempts to turn David Cullinane's victory speech into a sensationalist story, when what actually matters is that people are excited because of the incredible seismic change that is happening on our island.

"I believe that this change is a long time coming and all political representatives in border areas will have already been aware of the strong demand for a border poll, given the changing demographics and due also to the disastrous political circumstances we will face when Brexit comes fully into effect.

Councillor McCaffrey believes a border poll is very much on the agenda and preparation needs to begin in earnest.

"I believe that in this decade we will see the uniting of all the people of this island and the positive changes that a new Ireland can bring. This is truly the decade of opportunity," he added.