News Elections

Sunday 21 September 2014

Massacre of the mayors as voters target 'high-profiles'

David Raleigh

Published 26/05/2014 | 02:30

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Minister of State   Joe Costello and Lord Mayor of Dublin  Oisin Quinn at the  official opening of the 2014 Africa Day flagship event at Farmleigh in Dublin’s Phoenix Park yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Minister of State Joe Costello and Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn at the official opening of the 2014 Africa Day flagship event at Farmleigh in Dublin’s Phoenix Park yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

THE high-profile job of being mayor has proven a poisoned chalice for local elections around the country.

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Although securing the chains of office in an election year is usually seen as a positive thing, a raft of mayors lost out in Friday's vote.

Dublin, Cork and Galway county all sacrificed their mayors.

Dublin's Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn (Lab) put a brave face on the defeat, saying that it was a bad day.

"When you're out there campaigning, you always hope things will turn out better than is predicted but the writing was on the wall in terms of the opinion polls," he said.

However, the former Mayor of Limerick Jim Long has conceded defeat, saying he "appreciated and respected" the public's decision to "evict" him.

Mr Long – who threw in the hat on 303 votes with over 900 votes needed to achieve the quota in the Limerick City West seven-seater – blamed his "arrogant" party leader Enda Kenny for "going to far" with austerity policies on the public.

After walking from the Limerick count centre, the former FG councillor confirmed by phone: "I've left the building. But, I've no coffin on my shoulder.

"I'm out in the Unicorn pub with all my supporters and we're having a good ol lash," he added.

He said: "I did expect it. I had a fair idea when I was on my second round of canvassing and people were more negative than they had been a month ago."

"I lay the blame firmly at the feet of the Fine Gael party leadership for my demise and the demise of the party nationally."

He added: "It's not sour grapes. I had 10 great years and a mayoralty of the city. However, I expected that Labour would have kept Fine Gael in check and Labour did not stand up to them. This is all down to the arrogance of the Fine Gael party."

Mr Long said he was going to concentrate on a business venture which would see him continue to foster trade links with China and Croatia, which he had began under his tenure at Limerick City Hall.

"We have a delegation from Croatia coming over here next week and I had been invited to China (prior to the election) and I will take that up," he said.

In Cork city, Labour councillor and mayor Catherine Clancy lost her seat and was later hospitalised after being involved in a car crash.

She was a backseat passenger in her official mayoral car when it collided with another car on Pearse Road in Ballyphehane in Cork South at around 4am.

The politician and her driver were taken to Cork University Hospital where they were treated for minor injuries. A woman driving the other car was also taken to hospital.

Cork County Mayor Noel O'Connor (FG) also lost his seat, as did former Mayor of County Cork Barbara Murray (FG).

In Co Galway the Fine Gael Mayor, Liam Carroll was another victim of the public backlash against the government parties.

Irish Independent Supplement

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