Friday 18 October 2019

Sinn Féin could lose all their councillors in Cavan

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald pictured at the count centre in the RDS. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald pictured at the count centre in the RDS. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Martin Shannon

Whilst their fortunes have wavered across the country, Cavan could prove to be a watershed for Sinn Fein at the close of the election count as it is possible they could lose all four sitting councillors.

The possibility of this was signalled yesterday lunchtime with the revelation of the usually highly-accurate first count tallies in all three electoral areas.

Sinn Fein had two sitting councillors in the Cavan/Belturbet electoral area Damien Brady and Daniel Downey however with Brady polling 718 and Downey 430 in the first count it is hard to see how either will reach the quota in this area of 1,345.

However given that the 591 votes for Labour candidate Liam Van Der Spek and People Before Profits Eddie Smith's 498 votes have yet to be distributed, it is possible Brady could hold on without reaching the quota but Downey is definitely gone.

Sinn Fein also had sitting Councillor Noel Connell in the Ballyjamesduff electoral area, however the party's policy of running a second candidate here did not pay off with Connell polling 804 and Geraldine Harten receiving 469. It is hard to see where either could pick up the necessary transfers which would let them reach the quota of 1611 and so Connell has in effect lost his seat.

Finally in the Bailieborough electoral area Sinn Fein had sitting Councillor Paddy Mc Donald who was joined on their ticket this time by Geraldine Boyle but again their vote management failed with McDonald polling 772 on the first count and newcomer Boyle beating him slightly at 781.

Given that Fianna Fail ran five candidates in this area and Fine Gael ran four and one seat was filled late last night by Aontú's Sarah O'Reilly it is had to see how Mc Donald can reach the quota of 1.631.

So all in all, its very possible Sinn Fein could lose all their seats on Cavan County Council and the eliminations and elections of others today will make that position clearer as the day goes on.

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