At the 2016 election, CNW returned two FF candidates, first time runner, Cllr Aindrias Moynihan and his namesake, Deputy Michael Moynihan.
The major casualty was Deputy Aine Collins who admitted it was “just not a good day” for the Fine Gael party.
First time runner, Cllr Aindrias Moynihan who reached the quota as his final vote count was 11,959 along with his namesake, Cllr Michael Moynihan. It could now be a case for constituencies in both the northern and southern end of the region to simply ‘Dial M for Moynihan.’
The newly crowned Deputy Aindrias Moynihan was very much in a party mood early in the afternoon when the tallies gave him the nod with 19.1%. By the first count he had bagged 8,924 votes. As the day went on, his grin became wider.
What was interesting in this election was that Deputy Michael Moynihan never reached the quota of 11,843. He polled a very healthy 7,332 first preference votes at the first count – or 15.45 of the CNW political pie.
When he took the final seat in the early hours of the morning, he had 9,929 votes. Right on his heels was the first time runner Cllr John Paul O’Shea (Ind) who netted 9,680. In all there was just 249 votes between the pair and a seat in the Dail.
Cllr John Paul O’Shea shook Deputy Moynihan’s hand at the end of a long count day at the centre and wished him well. Deputy Michael Moynihan thanked everyone who supported him. He said it was a great day for FF. He said many people wrote off FF five years ago but now they are back.
Cllr O’Shea said he was “gutted” at having lost the seat but he said he was proud that he ran and had absolutely no regrets.
“In the very end all that divided us was 249 votes, “ said Cllr O’Shea, who is also the Mayor of Cork County.
While he did have the option of going in Cork East, he was clear that he would not turn his back on the people that he was “reared, respected and was brought up with.”
Deputy Michael Creed was also ecstatic to continue with his long history of returning to the Dail. However, he was at pains to point out, that he has also been a soldier which lost his seat in 2002. It was quite often a steep learning curve for him as he has remained at the top of the poll since then.
With all elections, there are casualties and at 10.50pm, Deputy Aine Collins bowed out of the race. Fighting back tears, she remained very humble as her votes of 7,388 were distributed. She thanked everyone who supported her and she said she had no regrets. She also said that she and Deputy Creed had made a boundary pact and had stuck at it.
“I respect Michael hugely and Cork North West is in a very safe pair of hands,” she said.
She admitted that it was not a good day for the Fine Gael party. It was her firm view that the country was in a much better position that it was five years ago.