No double family celebration for Micheal Martin as niece fails to grab last seat
MICHEAL Martin narrowly failed to make it a family double as his Fianna Fail party celebrated major success in Cork City.
The leader saw his brother Sean, a former Lord Mayor of Cork, elected – but his niece Kate, a nurse and first-time candidate, looked set to narrowly miss out on the final seat in the south east ward.
"It has been a very good day for the party, and we have laid the foundations for the next general election," Mr Martin said.
"The best part is that we have brought through a whole new generation of young politicians, not just in Cork but in Galway, Kildare and Dublin."
However, Labour's catastrophic electoral meltdown dominated proceedings in City Hall where Fine Gael also suffered serious losses.
In 2009, Labour elected seven councillors and were the second biggest party on the council after Fine Gael.
Now, for the first time in modern history, the new council won't have a single Labour member.
And Fine Gael dropped from being the largest party on the council to just being the third.
A difficult night for the Labour Lord Mayor Catherine Clancy became even more traumatic when she was involved in a collision as she was being driven home after the count in the mayoral car early yesterday.
Cllr Clancy, her official driver and a female motorist were taken to Cork University Hospital as a precautionary measure. Luckily, all escaped serious injuries.
Cllr Clancy becomes the first outgoing Lord Mayor of Cork not be be re-elected.
She is a sister-in-law of Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch and sister of TD Ciaran Lynch.
"It has been a very, very difficult day for the Labour Party.
"Probably one of the most difficult days we've ever experienced," a visibly shocked Ciaran Lynch said.
"We have lost some hugely talented councillors. But we will sit down and examine the results, take stock of what happened and redefine recovery in terms of what it means for Irish family incomes," he added.
Sinn Fein almost doubled its council representation, with independents also making major gains.
For the first time in 40 years, the tripartite pact between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour will not control the council.
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are now expected to seek the support or one or two independents to secure a majority on the new council.
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Irish Independent Supplement