Sunday 17 December 2017

Sinn Fein dominates as Labour vote collapses in capital

Dublin City

Chris Andrews in the RDS count centre in Dublin. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne
Chris Andrews in the RDS count centre in Dublin. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne
Sean Haughey
Chris Andrews in the RDS
Sean Haughey

Peter Flanagan and Niall O'Connor

SINN Fein took control of Dublin City Council and signalled a new era in electoral politics in the capital following a collapse of the Labour vote.

In what will be seen as a litmus test for the next general election, Sinn Fein dominated the vote for the city council, taking at least 15 seats – three times its number before the election, and almost double its closest rival Fianna Fail.

The party's gains came across the city. A Sinn Fein candidate topped the poll in six of the nine wards, as a host of previously unknown names booked their seat on the most powerful council in the country.

Most of the Sinn Fein gains came at Labour's expense. Labour had been the biggest party in the capital with 18 seats, but that has now been halved.

Among the casualties on a bloody day for the party was Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, who was ousted in Rathgar-Rathmines, while the party's leader in City Hall Dermot Lacey managed to scrape back in in the Pembroke-South Dock ward.

Chris Andrews's move from Fianna Fail TD to Sinn Fein councillor was successful, as he easily topped the poll in Pembroke-South Dock. His was the marquee name in a long line of winning Sinn Fein candidates.

Noeleen Reilly and Cathleen Carney Boud shared more than 28pc of the vote in Ballymun to dominate that ward, while the party had three successful candidates in Cabra-Finglas and Beaumont-Donaghmede.

Sinn Fein's gains were not limited to working-class areas.

It was a bloodbath for Labour. While the party had been prepared for losses in Dublin, it was beaten down across the city. At least eight sitting councillors failed to be re-elected – much worse than had been expected.

Fine Gael also struggled, although perhaps in line with party expectations. Its biggest casualties were Paddy McCarthy and Karen Binchy in Pembroke-South Dock, but Ray McAdam retained his seat in North Inner City on the 13th count.

Fianna Fail increased its representation but it was a mixed bag for the party, which had been hoping for more.

The Haughey legacy was retained in Clontarf, where long-time Dublin North Central TD Sean Haughey claimed a seat, coming second in the poll.

Perhaps the biggest winner after Sinn Fein were Independents, with several incumbents comfortably re-elected.

Mannix Flynn was retained in Pembroke-South Dock. Long-time Sinn Fein councillor Christy Burke, who is now an Independent, held on in North Inner City, as did Nial Ring.

Irish Independent Supplement

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News