Labour’s Michael Dollard was yesterday evening elected to the town council on the first count. The electorate was 9,791. In second place to Dollard was Fine Gael’s Peter Bourke, with 449 votes, and in third, Fianna Fáil's Bill Collentine, on 325.
Since 1989, Labour has held the predominant sway in the county since Willie Penrose left a distinctive mark.
Tallies showed it would be Labour who were to lose out at Fianna Fáil’s gains. A battle in Athlone over the final seat also looked set to go Fianna Fáil’s way.
Westmeath had a superstar politician of their own in the form of Fianna Fáil’s John Shaw, who polled well over 1,000 votes.
Robert Troy also polled over 1,000 votes, also a Fianna Fail candidate.
Fine Gael’s vote in Donegal town was considerably down as of yesterday afternoon. But Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher and Declan Ganley polled well in Donegal, with Gallagher’s support not falling below 10% nationwide.
Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn was polling very well in Donegal also. Mac Lochlainn had previously erected ‘wild west’ style posters to highlight what he saw as Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher’s evasion of governmental election issues. Fianna Fáil holds 16 of the 29 seats on the council.
Donegal is divided into two Dáil constituencies. It has six separate electoral areas, but with the redrawing of the boundaries, these have been reduced to five.
Sinn Féin was yesterday confident it would add two seats to the three it holds on the council.
Two Fine Gael candidates were last night elected to Clare County Council. Johnny Flynn and Paul Murphy were elected after the first count.
Independent candidate James Breen was also elected to Clare County Council after the first count in Ennis West.
According to early indications yesterday, Fianna Fáil looked set to lose three of their 15 seats to three Clare independent candidates.
It was not all bad news for the party in Clare, however, as they looked set to hang onto their Kilrush seats.
Fianna Fáil lost a number of seats in Monaghan yesterday in as Sinn Féin looked poised to make further gains in the Border county.
Sinn Féin looked set to make history last night in Monaghan council as they could become the first party to hold five of the council’s nine seats. First time independent candidate Seamus Treanor, running on a Save Monaghan Hospital and anti-government platform, could also take a seat.
The county’s sole Green councillor looked set to lose his seat as the party took a drubbing nationally.
Results were slow coming in from Laois yesterday, but the Fianna Fáil vote was holding up at around 40%. This shows that there has been not much change in voting patterns in the county, particulary outside Portlaoise.
Fianna Fáil are expected to hold most, and possibly all, of their seats. However, Fine Gael and Labour both have a possibility of each gaining a seat with neither being ruled out.
However, the message was clear, very little change was expected.
Fianna Fáil under new bloods such as John Maloney took the county for Fianna Fáil in 1985 by winning 14 of the 25 seats, but lost control again after the 2004 local elections where they took only 11 seats.
Fianna Fail’s Paddy O’Rourke and his party colleague Caillian Ellis, along with Fine Gael’s John McCartin, were elected to Leitrim County Council after the first count in Ballinamore.
In earlier indications, well-known GAA referee Enda Stenson had topped the poll in the Carrick-on-Shannon area with nearly 1,000 votes. Labour’s John Feely, a former election agent of President Mary Robinson, was thought to be in with a very strong chance of winning the last seat and thus becoming the first ever Labour councillor in the county.
Enda McGloin was last night expected to keep his seat with tally estimates running at 774 for the Drumshanbo based sitting councillor. Drumshanbo recorded one of the highest voter turnouts in the country. There was a turnout of 90% in some areas, while the town itself showed a turnout of 77%.
In Wexford town, Labour’s George Lawlor looked set to top the poll with his party colleague Ted Howlin in second place according to tally figures, after polling in excess of 900 votes.
Polling results also showed Fine Gael looked set to gain a seat, with newcomer Jim Allen polling ahead of outgoing Fine Gael councillor Phil Roche.
Independent Paudge Reck, Fine Gael’s Anna Fenlon, Labour’s Joe Ryan, Fianna Fáil’s Fergie Kehoe and Sinn Féin’s Anthony Kelly also looked set to be returned based on the tally results. In Gorey, Fianna Fáil candidate Malcolm Byrne polled very well. In Enniscorthy, Fine Gael pulled in 20% of votes.
Overall in Wexford, the independents showed good results, pulling in a third of all first preferences.
IN Waterford City East, independent candidate Davy Daniels was elected after the first count, while Jack Walsh of Labour got in after the second.
The general consensus yesterday was that Fianna Fáil support had taken a turn for the worst.
FF’s Tom Murphy also faced an uphill battle to gain a seat.
John Halligan, now independent, Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane and Labour’s Séamus Ryan all held onto their seats with Halligan polling more than 1,400 votes. Turnout in Ballybeg in Waterford City averaged 35%.
In Tramore, expanded from six seats to seven, Fine Gael looked set to take at least three seats. Independent Joe Conway also hoped to win a seat in a four-way contest with Sinn Féin’s Pat Fitzgerald, FG and FF.
In Tipperary, a turnout of 67% was recorded in the Christian Brothers school polling station in Thurles. It was also projected that Fianna Fáil’s vote was holding up strongly in the South Tipperary region. Nine different elections took place in the county. The county council, which is headquartered in Clonmel, has 26 seats and five electoral areas.
Labour was expecting an increase in support. The party has three outgoing councillors including Denis Landy, a former mayor of Carrick-on-Suir, general election candidate and “full time public representative”.
Fine Gael were cautious about possible gains in the county. Fine Gael candidates included Joe Donovan, Michael Fitzgerald, Johnny Fahy and Jack Crowe.
The Fianna Fáil vote stood at 24% yesterday, eclipsed by a Fine Gael polling of 36%. In Carlow East, however, early tallies showed a spike in support for Fianna Fail. Although Carlow provided Fianna Fail with some of its best results in the 2004 local elections, a repeat performance was not to be. FG and Labour, with 11 seats, control the 21-member county council. Both parties were confident about increasing their shares in the polling stations and their seats yesterday. New names running for Fine Gael were Patrick Deering in Tullow, a Rathvilly dairy farmer and chairman of the GAA county board, who hopes to replace his father Michael, retiring after 42 years as a councillor.
Voter turnout in Louth is believed to have been around 50%, somewhat down on the 2004 election.
In the Drogheda North area, Fianna Fáil faced what was described as a "complete hammering" after it stood to lose two seats with no gains.
Polling well and running for the county council for the first time was Mark Dearey who looked set to secure the Greens' first council seat. Dearey has served on Dundalk town council since 2004. Also performing well was the Greens' Mary Kavanagh.
It was good news, too, for the Labour party after their candidate Paul Bell – son of former TD Michael – looked set to gain a seat, with his overall support strong in the county.
Fianna Fáil managed to hold up and match the 34% first preferences it received in the 2004 local elections, ensuring all of its candidates will get in.
FF candidates in Kilkenny city were John Cooney, Pat Fitzpatrick and Andrew McGuinness.
McGuinness, son of TD John McGuinness, who was sacked as a junior minister by Taoiseach Brian Cowen, polled very well with over two quotas in the borough council election, increasing his vote by 4% on 2004.
Fine Gael and Labour combined currently have a majority on the county council and were expected to strengthen their positions. Paul Cuddihy and Betty Manning were the Fine Gael candidates standing in the city.
For the first time ever, Sinn Féin will have a representative on the borough council.
Fine Gael's Peggy Nolan is set to top the poll in both the Longford County Council and Town Council elections after leading the way on both counts.
Former PD TD Mae Sexton polled very strongly in her new role as an independent candidate. Sexton was first elected to Longford County Council in 1991, when she topped the poll in the area. She was then elected to the Dáil in 2002, but lost her Dáil seat in 2007.
Fianna Fáil first-time candidate Padraig Loughrey also polled very strongly. Early counts showed Fianna Fáil votes were slightly up in Longford, but Fine Gael managed to come out on top in county and local elections with a strong showing. Early indications showed that in the Longford Town Council election, the Sinn Féin vote was collapsing.
Fianna Fáil polled particularly badly in Limerick and looked set last night to lose four of its five council seats. Turnout exceeded that of the 2004 elections when 63% of the electorate turned out to vote. Labour's Tom Shortt and Kathleen Ledden polled strongly, while the independent candidate John Gilligan also received a strong number of votes.
Forty-six candidates declared their intention to run for one of the 17 seats on Limerick City Council. Candidates face an extra challenge after a redrawing of electoral boundaries when the city council's administrative boundary was extended last year.
Meath, traditionally a stronghold of Fianna Fáil, provided some good news for the party, with a voting preference of 40% over Fine Gael's 30%.
In Navan, Labour – with Jenny McHugh, Eileen Drew and Anton McCabe polling well in their respective council votes – looked to be topping the polls, while Fine Gael's Jim Holloway was slightly behind. Despite the decent Fianna Fáil vote, there was early concern for the future of two candidates called Reilly (Tommy and Bryan) – early counts were not encouraging for them. The FF vote also held up well in Kells, as did FG's.
Wicklow had an average voting turnout of 52% on Friday.
Due to unknown circumstances, the Wicklow count was only reconvened yesterday evening. It is anticipated the count will continue well into today.
However first indications show that Simon Harris of Fine Gael is way out in front, with George Jones not far behind.
Fine Gael’s Derek Mitchell is expected to take a seat in the county, as is Labour’s Tom Fortune. The picture is bleak for Fianna Fáil as their candidate Eleanor Roche fights it out for one of the last seats.
Ciarán O’Brien of the Green Party, Barry Nevin of the Labour Party, and Michael Lawlor and Damien Meaney of Fianna Fáil, are likely to be fighting for the remaining three places.
Fine Gael topped the votes in the Cavan, receiving over 13,000 first preference votes.
Fianna Fáil were lagging behind with just over 9,700 first preference votes. Sinn Féin polled 3,186 votes with the Labour party registering only 831 first preference votes.
The first two elected candidates in Cavan were Fine Gael’s Madeline Argue and Sinn Féin’s Charlie Boylan.
Overall it was good news for Fine Gael who topped every count in all five constituencies.
Despite a rise in voting in Ballieborough for Fianna Fáil, they struggled to overcome Fine Gael in any count.
In 2004, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael both returned 11 councillors and Sinn Féin returned three.
Once again, Fine Gael topped the polls in Enda Kenny’s home turf, with 43% of the vote. Almost 12,000 first-preference votes were cast for the party as candidates Henry Kenny and Michelle Mulherin came out on top.
Overall, Fianna Fáil held just over 26% of votes, with not much variation between each constituency.
It was the independent candidate’s day in Mayo however, with Ballina’s Bernard Flynn receiving 1,143 first preference votes. Former Fine Gael party member Frank Durcan polled very well in his position as an independent also, pulling in 1,574 first preference votes.
Also raking in over 1,000 first preference votes was the party’s Gerry Ginty..
In Roscommon, turnout was reported at 73%, a very high number for the county’s local elections.
Fianna Fáil held its own but it was understood it wouldn’t increase on 2004’s nine seats. Polling well for the party was Orla Leydon and Boyle’s Rachel Doherty (daughter of former justice minister Seán Doherty). Also showing well was Martin Connaughton. For the independents, Paula McNamara also polled very strongly.
Fine Gael was not seen as likely to increase its 10 seats obtained in 2004. Labour did not put forward any candidates amid reports it considers Roscommon to be a hostile county .
Changes in the county’s electoral areas since 2004 have left Roscommon with five seats rather than six contests.