Thursday 27 June 2019

Second day of counting in Ireland’s local government elections

More than 900 seats will be filled across 31 local authorities.

Ballots are counted in the local government and European elections at the RDS in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
Ballots are counted in the local government and European elections at the RDS in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

A second day of counting is under way following the local government elections in Ireland.

Fianna Fail so far appears to be on course to remain the biggest party at local government level in Ireland.

Fine Gael is hopeful of gains, but the biggest surge looks likely to be enjoyed by the Green Party.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein is expected to suffer losses.

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Former UFC fighter Paddy Holohan is hoping to win a seat on Dublin County Council for Sinn Fein (Niall Carson/PA)

Counting started on Saturday morning, and continued on Sunday morning with a significant number of seats still to be filled.

The first new councillor to be elected was independent Thomas Welby to Galway County Council.

He topped the poll with 2,140 votes in the Connemara North local electoral area, despite not putting up any election posters.

“I said I’ll canvass on the doors and go plastic-free and it went down very well,” he told Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE News.

Irish voters went to the polls on Friday to elect 949 councillors across 31 local authorities.

Some of the notable candidates include UFC fighter Paddy Holohan, who is running for Sinn Fein in the hope of winning a seat on South Dublin County Council.

Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald congratulated the Greens on their surge, saying it would be “churlish not to acknowledge that”.

“For our part, I want to say firstly to all of our candidates who fought campaigns for weeks and months and to their families, a very big thank you, and to all of our activists and everyone who came out and voted for Sinn Fein,” she said.

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Sinn Fein leader Mary-Lou McDonald (Niall Carson/PA)

“I want to say particularly to those who won’t be returned to the council chambers, who have served their community with great pride and great commitment, I want to say to them, they’ll be back, I have no doubt, and it’ll be our objective from Monday when we recover to win all of those seats back.

“These are very tight contests in many constituencies, last seats will be won or lost in handfuls of votes, that’s the nature of local elections.

“I am not exactly sure where we are going to land, we will have a lot of counting and a lot of long nights ahead of us.”

Press Association

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