MARGINS of five and ten votes which emerged between Fine Gael and Sinn Fein candidates in the Local Area Elections led to Fine Gael demanding two recounts in Co. Monaghan.
The first demand for a recount came when a Monaghan County Council Local Electoral Area candidate for Fine Gael in Monaghan town, newcomer Barra Flynn, faced elimination by the Returning Officer Paul Clifford.
It emerged after the seventh count, with a five-vote gap between Flynn and Sinn Fein candidate Siobhan Cheung, whom he was trailing---following the earlier elimination of another Fine Gael contender, Gary Keenan.
A request for a further electoral area recount in Co. Monaghan was also granted by the Returning Officer to a South Monaghan outgoing Fine Gael candidate, Aidan Murray, of Carrickmacross, who found himself trailing by ten votes behind a Sinn Fein candidate.
His tally was below that of Sinn Fein’s Jackie Crowe, another outgoing councillor, after the 8th count for the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Local Electoral Area.
Sinn Fein candidates had already chalked up runway successes in Co. Monaghan, having taken the first two seats in the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney electoral area with the election of Euro Midlands North West Election contender, Matt Carthy, who was also contesting the Local Elections, with his running mate Noel Keelan, who also secured election locally.
In the other Local Electoral Area (Monaghan Town) Brian McKenna, a Sinn Fein candidate and outgoing councillor topped the poll, with 1,336 first preferences, and was elected just ahead of Independent, Seamus Treanor (1,332) on the first count.
Surprisess in the Monaghan County Council Local Elections were a disappointing performance by a former Fianna Fail Dail deputy Margaret Conlon of Castleblayney who was eliminated after the fourth count in the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney electoral area, and a similarly disappointing showing for Fine Gael, by Lorraine Cotter, a daughter of a former Fine Gael Oireachtas member Bill Cotter.
* In Co. Monaghan one Local Area Election for Monaghan County Council has been re-arranged for Saturday 7th June in the Ballybay/Clones Electoral Area as a result of the sudden death of a Fine Gael candidate, and outgoing councillor, Owen Bannigan, a farmer and father-of-five, who collapsed and died suddenly while canvassing last Friday .