Westmeath electoral area: Latest updates
Published 24/05/2014 | 13:51
Key points from final tallies:
- SF to take 3 seats (one pregnant candidate with baby due this week ran limited campaign)
- Huge surge in support for FF (9 seats out of 20)
- Labour decimated in one of their strongest Councils - 4 seats lost
- FG lose a seat
- TR Dallas bows out of politics
- National wind-farm campaigner will be elected
Labour support in one of their strongest areas has been decimated, with Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail the winners on a new-look Westmeath County Council.
With the tallies complete and counting to begin at 2.30pm, Labour are on course to lose 4 seats on a Council they have dominated since 1989 when Willie Penrose TD rose to power.
SF and FF may form an unlikely alliance to control the 20-seat Council, something which has not been ruled out by either party at the Mullingar Park Hotel count centre this afternoon.
SF ran three candidates, one in each LEA, and all will be elected.
SF's Sorca Clarke, who is due her 4th child this week and ran a limited campaign due to her pregnancy, will take a seat in Mullingar-Kilbeggan at the expense of Labour.
Former journalist and first-time SF candidate Una D'Arcy is topping the pole in Mullingar-Coole whilst SF's Paul Hogan is close to the top in Athlone.
4 Labour Councillors will lose seats in two Mullingar LEA's.
In Mullingar-Kilbeggan, the stronghold of Willie Penrose, former poll topper Mick Dollard is in a 4-way scrap to save his political career.
Labour By-Election candidate Denis Leonard faces a battle to stay in politics. He is scrapping for the last seat in this 7-seat LEA alongside Dollard.
In Mullingar-Coole, Labour have lost 2 seats.
Fianna Fail are back
Fianna Fail ran 10 candidates and 9 look set to be elected. Tom Allen, aka County and Western star TR Dallas, was the unlucky FF'er, missing out in the Athlone LEA. They took over 50% of the vote in Mullingar-Kilbeggan LEA and 33% in Mullingar-Coole LEA.
In Athlone, Independent former FF Cllr Kevin 'Boxer' Moran will top the poll. followed by SF's Paul Hogan, 2 FG'ers and 3 FF'ers.
Wind farm campaigner saves FG
National wind-farm campaigner Andrew Duncan looks set to be an unlikely saviour for FG.
He looks set to be elected in the 6-seat Mullingar-Kilbeggan LEA, where the party were accused of running too many candidates - 4.
Ironically, the seat formerly filled by by-election front-runner Gabrielle McFadden looks set to be lost to SF.
Accordingly, the 20 seat Westmeath County Council looks set to comprise:
Fianna Fail - 9 seats
Fine Gael - 5
Sinn Fein - 3
Labour - 2
Independent - 1
Big losers in Westmeath: Tom 'TR Dallas' Allen (FF), Peter Keany (Lab), Ger Corcoran (Lab), Colm Arthur (FG), Detty Cornally (Lab), Denis Leonard (Lab)