Kiely goes to Supreme Court but Kennelly confident
COUNTY Councillor Mike Kennelly is confident he will still have his seat on the authority at the conclusion of another appeal of the recent Listowel area local election result by Dan Kiely.
Mr Kiely is now taking his challenge of the election result to the Supreme Court in a costly appeal he hopes will be heard by October. The move comes after he failed to win an earlier appeal he brought before Judge Carroll Moran at Tralee Circuit Court in June.
Mr Kiely petitioned the court on that occasion to revisit the outcome of the vote, but was unsuccessful.
The Tarbert native, who served as a Fianna Fáil senator for 18 years and a Fianna Fáil County Councillor for 26 years, lost out by just two votes to Fine Gael's Mike Kennelly in the local elections.
Mr Kiely, who ran as an independent, secured a recount but it returned the exact same result, leaving Cllr Kennelly two votes clear and Fianna Fáil's Jimmy Moloney with a five vote margin over the Tarbert man.
However, Mr Kiely said he was prevented from looking at the 173 spoiled votes in the electoral area prior to the recount. He claimed that neither he nor his agents were present to scrutinise the spoiled votes at the very outset of the count, as he was not aware it was taking place at the time.
Following Judge Moran's dismissal of the Circuit Court petition, Mr Kiely and his legal team - headed by former councillor and party colleague Paul O'Donoghue - indicated their desire to appeal to a higher court. That appeal was lodged last week in the Supreme Court and Mr Kiely hopes it will be heard by October.
If successful, it could see one of the elected candidates closest to Mr Kiely in the election result - Mike Kennelly or Jimmy Moloney - lose their seats.
However, Cllr Kennelly said this week that he is confident of the result of the count.
"I'm happy with the way the count was conducted. It was carried out with military precision and the recount affirmed this, returning the exact same result. Council staff were also vindicated by the decision of Judge Moran to dismiss the appeal on the four points it was taken on," Cllr Kennelly said.
"It's disappointing for everyone that this has to continue, but I hope to continue unobstructed with my own work as a councillor soon," he added.