Tuesday 23 December 2014

Fingal: Labour's loss was Sinn Fein’s gain throughout the Fingal County Council

Published 25/05/2014 | 16:59

FIANNA Fail’s David McGuinness and Paul Donnelly of Sinn Fein will take their place on Fingal County Council after narrowly failing to win a Dail seat.

They lost out in the Dublin West by-election to Ruth Coppinger of the Ant-Austerity Alliance who also won a seat on the local authority.

A councillor will now have to be co-opted onto Fingal to replace Coppinger in Mulhuddart.

The Green Party’s Roderic O’Gorman contested both elections as well, managing to secure a council seat in Castleknock/Blanchardstown.

Not so lucky were John Kidd and Sean Lyons, both Independents, who failed to get elected to either Fingal or the Dail.

In a blow to Health Minister James Reilly, his right-hand man Tom O’Leary (FG) didn’t get elected in Balbriggan.

The party ran four candidates in the ward but only JP Browne was successful.

Left-wing and anti-austerity candidates made huge gains across Fingal, but particularly in Mulhuddart.

As well as the success of Coppinger and Donnelly, Annette Hughes of the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) and Edmond Lukusa (SF) were elected.

A massive transfer from Donnelly helped Lukusa on his way.

Voters in neighbouring Castleknock/Balbriggan elected two Fine Gael and two Fianna Fail candidates but also Sandra Kavanagh (AAA) and Sinn Fein’s Natalie Treacy.

Young Jack Chambers (FF) led from the front all the way, showing he will be one to watch in many future elections.

There’s unlikely to be a more qualified councillor in the country –- Chambers has an honours degree in law and political science from Trinity and is now studying medicine.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar stuck with the counts throughout the day on Saturday and was there in the early hours of Sunday to see his fellow Fine Gaelers Ted Leddy and Eithne Loftus get through.

His cabinet and constituency colleague Joan Burton was also present, but she had little to celebrate as Labour’s John Walsh was eliminated.

Jimmy Guerin, brother of crime journalist murdered Veronica Guerin, was elected in Howth/Malahide.

Guerin, who has a strong Fianna Fail background, doesn’t believe that was a factor in his success.

"I wouldn't think I did on this occasion (get a FF vote). On the last occasion I may have, but I wouldn't think on this occasion I would have. It would be an Independent vote. It's definitely a community vote this time around," he said.

A bright spot for Labour in an otherwise damaging performance was Ken Farrell’s result in Balbriggan where he topped the poll.

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