Cork City Council: Success for FF and SF
FIANNA Fail and Sinn Fein celebrated major success in the Cork City Council election though Michael Martin narrowly failed to make it a family double.
The FF 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 FG.
For the first time in modern history, the new council won’t have a single Labour member.
FG dropped from being the largest party on the council to just being the third.
A difficult night for Lord Mayor Cllr Catherine Clancy (Lab) became even more traumatic when she was involved in a collision as she was being driven home after the count in the mayoral car in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Cllr Clancy, her official driver and a female motorist were taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) as a precautionary measure.
Luckily, all escaped serious injuries.
Cllr Clancy becomes the first outgoing Lord Mayor of Cork in modern times not be be re-elected.
She is a sister-in-law of Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch and sister of Ciaran Lynch TD (Lab).
“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 their council representation with independents also making major gains.
For the first time in 40 years, the tripartite pact between FF/FG/Labour will not control the council.
FF and FG are now expected to seek the support or one or two independents to secure a majority on the new council.
SF President Gerry Adams, speaking in Cork, said it was an historic day for both the party and for Ireland.
LIVE BLOG: FOLLOW ALL THE ELECTION 2014 ACTION RIGHT HERE
“It has been an incredible election for SF and the ballots are proof that people do not believe FF, FG and Labour have been listening to them. Austerity has caused misery across the country for the most vulnerable in society,” he said.
The scale of the party’s electoral success was borne out by Stephen Cunningham (21) who became the youngest councillor elected nationally.
Incredibly, he only launched his campaign last January having joined the SF ticket as a replacement candidate.