Tuesday 23 October 2018

Cork County Electoral area: High profile names lose out

Michael Ahern
Michael Ahern

Olivia Kelleher

FORMER Fianna Fail Junior Minister Michael Ahern and former Mayor of County Cork Barbara Murray (FG) were among the high profile names to lose their seats in the local elections in the south of the country over the weekend.

Michael Ahern was eliminated on the 7th Count in the Cobh, Co Cork Electoral Area. Mr Ahern served as a junior minister on three occasions. He was minister for science and technology (1992-1994), minister for trade and commerce (2002-2007) and minister for innovation policy (2007-2008). He lost his seat at the last general election.

Ahern has never served at county council level. However, his brother, father, grandfather and granduncle were all member of Cork County Council. His father, Liam Ahern, and granduncle, John Dineen, also served as TDs.

Meanwhile, sitting Labour Councillor Noel Costello also lost his seat in Cobh.  Outgoing Mayor of Midleton Fianna Fail’s Niall O’Neill was also eliminated on the 7th count in East Cork.

Another high profile casualty was Labour’s Martin Coughlan who lost his seat in Macroom after nearly two decades in local politics. Cork County Mayor Noel O’Connor (FG) also lost his seat mirroring the fate of his Labour counterpart in the city Catherine Clancy who failed to retain her place in the council.

In Carrigaline Ballincollig the party breakdown went in the favour of FF (3 councillors) Fine Gael (3) Sinn Fein (2) and two independents.

Cobh elected two Sinn Fein, one Fianna Fail, two Fine Gael, one Labour candidate and an Independent candidate Claire Cullinane. Those elected included Padraig O’Sullivan (FF), Kieran McCarthy (SF) Ger Keohane (SF) Anthony Barry (FG) Sinead Sheppard (FG), Claire Cullinane (Ind) and Cathal Rasmussen of Labour.

First count for Carrigaline Ballincollig elected Seamus McGrath (FF) and Donnchadh O Laoghaire (SF). McGrath got 4,700 to top poll. The subsequent seats were taken by Derry Canty (FG) , John A Collins (FG), Marcia D’Alton (Ind), Mary Rose Desmond (FF), Joe Harris (Ind), Deirdre Forde (FG) Michael Murphy (SF) and  Daithi O’Donnabhain (FF).

Joe Harris secured the last seat of the count shortly before 9am yesterday (Sunday) beating Fine Gael’s Garret Kelleher by just twelve votes. Despite the narrow region of his loss Kelleher decided against applying for a recount.

Mr Kelleher wished the successful candidates the best of luck in the coming years.

“At this hour of the morning nobody would be thankful if I called a recount. I felt that in this situation that it is likely that I would lose as many votes as I would pick up. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the ten councillors every success in the years ahead.”

The Carrigaline Ballincollig area required fifteen counts with 21 candidates putting their names forward for ten seats.

Among the successful candidates was Mary Rose Desmond who works in Deputy Micheal Martin’s constituency office in Turners Cross, Cork. The decision to put Desmond forward as a candidate reportedly irked some local Fianna Fáil members as it was taken without discussion with the existing candidates.

In East Cork the seats were filled by Noel Collins (Ind), Pat Buckley (SF), Michael Hegarty (FG), Aaron O’Sullivan (FF), Mary Linehan Foley (Ind), Susan McCarthy (FG)

In Blarney Macroom the seats were taken by Aindrias Moynihan FF, Michael Creed FG, Des O'Grady SF, Ted Lucey FG,  Bob Ryan FF and Kevin Conway Ind.

Minister for Agriculture and the Marine, Simon Coveney, said the the Government received a beating at the polls despite their best efforts.

“We have asked Irish people to make extraordinary sacrifices over the last three years. They gave us a huge mandate in the last general election and to fix all the problems Fianna Fail created. We are trying to do that as best we can. We have had mistakes and we are being punished for that but we have also made huge progress.”

Cork County Council seats (Breakdown local elections)

Blarney-Macroom (6 seats) – Aindrias Moynihan (FF), Michael Creed (FG), Des O’Grady (SF), Bob Ryan (FF), Kevin Conway (Ind), Ted Lucey (FG).

Ballincollig-Carrigaline (10 seats) – Seamus McGrath (FF), Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (SF), Deirdre Forde (Fine Gael), Derry Canty (FG), Marcia D’Alton (Ind), Daithí O Donnabháin (FF) John A Collins (FG) Mary Rose Desmond (FF) Michael Murphy (SF) Joe Harris (Ind).

Cobh (7 seats) – Padraig O’Sullivan (FF), Kieran McCarthy (SF), Ger Keohane (SF), Anthony Barry (FG), Sinead Sheppard (FG), Cathal Rasmussen (Lab), Claire Cullinane (Ind).

East Cork (6 seats) – Noel Collins (Ind), Pat Buckley (SF), Michael Hegarty (FG), Aaron O’Sullivan (FF), Mary Linehan Foley (Ind), Susan McCarthy (FG).

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News