'It is a dream come true, it's history - seventeen new councillors elected in Limerick
SEVENTEEN new councillors from home and abroad were elected to Limerick City and County, making it one of the most diverse local authorities in the country.
In the early hours of Monday, 50-year old, Abul Kalam Azad Talukder, secured one of the last of the 40 seats up for grabs.
It was a historic victory for Talukder, who is the first ever Bangladesh native and Muslim to be elected in Limerick.
“It is a dream come true. It is history. It doesn't come overnight or with dreams - you have to work at it,” he said.
It was a historic election for the Green Party too - the party securing their first ever Limerick council seats through sterling performances from Brian Leddin and Sean Hartigan.
“It’s huge, just huge,” Leddin offered afterwards.
Fine Gael welcomed five new recruits; Fianna Fáil introduced four newcomers; three new Independents joined the ranks; while Sinn Fein, Labour, and the Social Democrats, each brought one new face into the fold.
Seven sitting councillors did not seek re-election.
There were some big name casualties however, including Fine Gael’s Marian Hurley and Elenora Hogan, while Fianna Fáil lost Sean Lynch and Joe Pond.
Others who did not retain their seats were John Loftus, Non-Party and Mary Cahillane, Social Democrats.
Sinn Fein however lost three sitting councillors, Malachy McCreesh, Seamus Browne, and 2014 poll-topper Seighin O’Ceallaigh.
Their losses may have been down to “voter apathy” and the “Green surge” felt O’Ceallaigh.
Familiar faces return with Labour’s Joe Leddin, Fianna Fail’s James Collins and Kieran O’Hanlon, and Fine Gael’s Jerome Scanlan, Liam Galvin, and Michael Collins, among others.
Although the personnel may be different, the party representations remain somewhat similar going forward.