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Friday 22 August 2014

Cavan County Council: No evidence of voting along party lines

Seamus Enright

Published 25/05/2014 | 14:46

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The adage of voting along party lines has been thrown out the window in Cavan, with voters instead polling towards candidates in their own local area.

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This is no truer than in Cavan-Belturbet where a large rural turnout secured no less than four of six candidates in the western half of the electoral area.

It sees a return for FG’s Madeleine Argue and Peter McVitty, SF’s Damien Brady, and FF’s Sean Smith and John Paul Feeley, with the final seat a gain for SF with first time candidate Eugene Greenan securing his place on the next council.

In Ballyjamesduff, SF’s Noel Connell topped the poll, with FG holding onto three seats and FF taking the final two. A recount called for by first time candidate Craig Lovett, behind party member Shane P O’Reilly by just 43 votes was withdrawn and the result called by returning officer Des Maguire.

However, the biggest shock is in the Bailieborough-Cootehill area where four former sitting councillors have all been eliminated.

FG’s Sean McKiernan, David Blake and John O’Hare, and SF’s former party chief Charlie Boylan have all lost their seats. Only poll topper FF’s Niamh Smyth has been elected in the constituency so far with six candidates left looking for the five remaining five.

FG Deputy Joe O’Reilly summed up the shock within the party locally saying that while FG have no regrets in the decisions they’ve made in helping the country towards recovery, their candidates have borne the brunt as “conduits for negative public opinion”.

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