Wednesday 13 December 2017

Donegal: Newly-elected councillor McBrearty says strong swing towards Independents signals change

Anita Guidera

Newly-elected Independent councillor, Frank McBrearty said last night that the strong national swing towards Independents signaled a sea change in Irish politics.

“The people have said they want a more honest kind of politics where the people and not the party come first,” he said.

McBrearty, who ran for the Labour Party in the Stranorlar Electoral Area in 2009 said the Labour party deserved the drubbing it had got from the electorate.

He added he would be looking to form a technical group on Donegal County Council with the newly elected independent candidates to capitalise on the increased Independents' presence in the chamber.

Topping the poll in this newly expanded six -seater electoral area was Sinn Fein’s Gary Doherty with almost 2,000 first preference votes. He also became the first councillor in Co Donegal to be elected.

Pearse Doherty TD was at the Finn Valley Athletics Club count centre in Stranorlar for the declaration early yesterday afternoon.

Doherty, who was on his way to Castlebar for the European election count, predicted that Sinn Fein would at least double its number of seats on Donegal County Council from the current four.

 Sinn Fein looked set to take an additional seat in Stranorlar with the remaining seats going to outgoing councillors.

The final breakdown is expected to be as follows: FF (2) SF (2) FG (1) IND (1).

Overall the Fianna Fail vote dropped slightly by three per cent while the Fine Gael vote dropped by ten per cent.

Sinn Fein’s vote was up by nine per cent resulting in a gain of a second seat. 

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