Tuesday 20 August 2019

'Sad day for democracy' - Fianna Fáil candidate loses out on council seat after colleagues vote against co-option

Lisa Mellor Photo: Twitter
Lisa Mellor Photo: Twitter
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A Fianna Fáil local election candidate has lost out on a council seat after her party colleagues voted against her co-option.

Lisa Mellor ran for the party in Meath last May, missing out on the ninth count for the Ashbourne area due to transfers.

But an immediate vacancy arose on Meath County Council after Independent Sharon Keogan managed to win seats in two separate wards.

This meant councillors had to vote for a substitute to take one of the seats today.

Ms Mellor was in a strong position to be co-opted but the 12 Fianna Fáil councillors went against, meaning she lost out by three votes.

She said it is “beyond belief that my own party could do this to me”.

Amanda Smith, who did not contest the local elections, took the seat by 20 votes to 17.

It’s understood Fianna Fáil agreed to support her as part of a wider voting pact with Independents including Ms Keogh.

In a statement Ms Mellor said it was a “sad day for democracy as the seat has gone to somebody who did not put herself on the ballot paper”.

“The hardest thing to take is that my 12 Fianna Fáil colleagues voted against me, their fellow Fianna Fáil candidate.

“It is also very disappointing for the electorate and in particularly all the voters who gave me their number 1 vote to support them locally,” she said.

Ms Keogh told LMFM that Ms Smith is well positioned to represent constituents.

“This as far as I’m concerned was my seat to bequeath to whom I so chose.

“I nominated Amanda Smith. Amanda has worked with me for many, many years. I certainly wouldn’t nominate somebody that doesn’t know what’s expected from them with regard to public life and public service,” she said.

Independent councillor Joe Bonner, who nominated Ms Mellor, said the situation “stinks”.

“I think what’s happening is outrageous. They can’t just parachute a candidate in there that didn’t run for election.”

He claimed people in Ashbourne “are upset about it” and there “should be a noise made about it”.

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