Some of the victorious Sinn Féin team at the count centre on Saturday with party leader and local TD Gerry Adams. From left: Edel Corrigan, Pearse McGeough, Gerry Adams, Imelda Munster, Tomás Sharkey, Jennifer Green, Tom Cunningham and Alan Cassidy
Conor Keelan won the final seat in Dundalk Carlingford by just four votes from JJ Quigley
There was drama at the local election count in the Redeemer last night after a recount was ordered to decide who took the last seat available in the Dundalk-Carlingford constituency.
In the end history repeated itself as Fianna Fáil’s Conor Keelan saw off competition from Sinn Féin’s JJ Quigley to take the final seat by just four votes – the same margin that independent councillor Alan Grehan pipped Fianna Fáil’s Donal Lynch by following a similar recount five years ago.
Initially there had been just two votes separating the pair before the recount but it failed to change the outcome.
The failure of Quigley to get elected was the one downside to what was an otherwise fantastic weekend for Sinn Féin, who saw 10 of their 11 candidates elected, with poll toppers in each of the four electoral areas.
As is always the case in elections, there were casualties with established councillors such as Eamonn O’Boyle, Jim Ryan, Jim Lennon, Finnan McCoy, Martin Murnaghan, Linus English, Michael O’Dowd, Sean Bellew and Oliver Morgan all losing seats.
For the first time there is the possibility also of a husband and wife team on the council with Sinn Féin’s Jennifer Green elected in Dundalk South, while her fiancé Alan Cassidy was elected in Drogheda.
Sinn Féin aside, the big winners included independent Maeve Anna Yore and Fine Gael’s John McGahon and Maria Doyle, who secured seats on their debut elections.
It was also a good weekend for the Green Party, with both Mark Dearey and Marianne Butler retaining their status.
The only remaining seat still to be decided is in Ardee, where a recount will take place this morning at 10am at the request of Hugh Conlon, who lost out on the final seat to fellow independent Jim Tenanty by just 23 votes.
The party breakdown look as follows:
- Sinn Féin – 10 seats
- Fine Gael – 7 seats
- Fianna Fáil – 5 seats
- Labour Party – 2 seats
- Green Party – 2 seats
- Independents – 3 seats
There will also be a record number of women representatives, with seven female councillors elected.
As things stand the new County Council will look as follows:
Dundalk South (7) – Tomás Sharkey (Sinn Féin), Declan Breathnach (Fianna Fáil), Maeve Anna Yore (Independent), Kevin Meenan (Sinn Féin), Jennifer Green (Sinn Féin), Maria Doyle (Fine Gael), Marianne Butler (Green Party).
Dundalk Carlingford (6) – Edel Corrigan (Sinn Féin), Peter Savage (Fianna Fáil), Jim Loughran (Sinn Féin), John McGahon (Fine Gael), Mark Dearey (Green Party), Conor Keelan (Fianna Fáil).
Ardee (6) – Pearse McGeough (Sinn Féin), Colm Markey (Fine Gael), Liam Reilly (Fianna Fáil), Tom Cunningham (Sinn Féin), Dolores Minogue (Fine Gael), Jim Tenanty/Hugh D Conlon (Independent).
Drogheda (10) – Imelda Munster (Sinn Féin), Paul Bell (Labour Party), Alan Cassidy (Sinn Féin), Tommy Byrne (Fianna Fáil), Kenneth Flood (Sinn Féin), Frank Godfrey (Independent), Kevin Callan (Fine Gael), Oliver Tully (Fine Gael), Richie Culhane (Fine Gael), Pio Martin Smith (Labour Party).
Full results for each electoral area are also available on the Louth County Council website – Dundalk Carlingford, Dundalk South, Ardee, Drogheda.