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Tag Archives: Clare local elections

Poll topper in Killaloe area Joe Cooney is lifted on high by supporters as he is deemed elected during the election count at The West county Hotel, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

Mistakes were made in local elections

THE parties behind the big winners in the Local Elections have all admitted they made mistakes and each believes it cost them seats. When the newly-elected Clare County Council sits for its June 6 AGM, there will be 12 Fianna Fáil, eight Fine Gael, seven Independent and one Sinn Féin members. In percentage terms, 57.5% of the electorate voted, with 52,114 people casting their ballot. Despite picking up nearly 36% of the valid poll, Fianna Fáil’s director of elections, Gerry Reidy, said he believes they could have managed two further councillors in West Clare and in Shannon. Fine Gael, while securing 31.5% of the valid vote, took some heavy blows, with Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins losing his seat after opting to run in the Killaloe area. Independents secured over one fifth of the available vote and with it, a quarter of all representatives in the new council. Sinn Féin, with 4.2% of the total valid poll, had a candidate …

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‘Strategy didn’t work’ for Fine Gael in Killaloe

FINE Gael got 40% of the vote in Killaloe but ended up with just two councillors in the six-seat electoral area, despite one of its candidates topping the poll. So successful was Joe Cooney in the area that he almost doubled the quota on the first count. Indeed, his surplus was larger than the first preference votes of each of his party colleagues in the area, outgoing Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins and sitting councillor Pat Burke. The distribution of that surplus, however, did not go where party officials might have liked. Half went across to the four Fianna Fáil candidates and just over a quarter (390) went to his party colleagues. According to Jim McMahon, Munster organiser for Fine Gael, the party had a strategy in the electoral area but it didn’t work. “Joe Cooney is someone who, in the last number of elections, has got a very big vote, Joe Cooney’s vote, if you look where his vote …

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Kelly makes it eight in a row

Lissycasey county councillor PJ Kelly (FF) won his eighth successive election to Clare County Council when he was elected on the eleventh count. “It was good I got elected. I’m delighted. It was awful cheeky to go for eight in a row but I made it. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this. If we were to have predicted who would win or lose, the bookies would have been in for a good day,” he said of a day of twists and turns in the west Clare race. Meanwhile Bill Chambers (FF) was equally relived to have pulled through at the same stage of the day long count. “It feels great and I’m delighted with the result but I’m really sorry too that we’ve lost two marvellous colleagues in Oliver Garry and Patrick Keane. Two thorough gentleman,” he commented. He described the new west Clare constituency as a challenging one geographically. “It has proved we were …

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Curtin elected to West Clare on first count

For the fifth time, Independent Christy Curtin has topped the poll in his electoral area. He was elected on the first count with 42 votes to spare. He gathered 1,938 votes in the new constituency which includes much of the old Ennistymon Electoral Area. According to Christy, the change in boundary made a considerable difference. “The change in boundary definitely benefitted me. I am strategically located in Miltown Malbay and I worked in Kilmihil for almost 30 years, I started my career in Ennistymon but I am located well geographically and the demographic suited me,” he said. The change brought Miltown Malbay, his home, back into the electoral area in which he was standing. “I was extremely nervous. I was back again in my own home town after 22 years and there was a strong candidate there already and for that reason I felt nervous, but they did not let me down, they stood by me,” he said. Councillor Curtin …

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O’Brien may consider general election run

FÍS Nua candidate Niamh O’Brien has told The Clare Champion that she felt obliged to seek a partial recount after her elimination from the Killaloe Electoral Area on the fourth count. The first-time candidate was just six votes behind Liam Wiley (FF) when she was eliminated. “Because there’s only six votes in it, why not? I would bow out gracefully but if it’s worth fighting for and I’ll stay here for another while and see how it goes,” the O’Callaghan’s Mills native said before her elimination was confirmed after the partial recount. “It’s not too many times that I say this but I’m really proud of myself. I’m so honoured that so many people thought so much of me to put me this far. I have to thank them and I have to apologise because I was so thin on the ground and I didn’t get to everyone,” she added before paying tribute to her family. “My mother Bernie was …

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Hayes elected but critical of boundaries

Pat Hayes (FF) has been elected to Clare County Council netting 277 transfers from Joe Cooney’s (FG) surplus votes. The Maghera native was surrounded by his wife, children and extended family when the results were delivered by returning officer Michael McNamara. Delighted with the news that he will retain his council seat having netted a total of 1,767 votes, he said he looks forward to celebrating. He added that it was “disgraceful” that electoral area changes introduced for this election meant communities were effectively divided down the middle. He said during his new term he will be fighting to see the reversal of these boundary changes. Pat is now looking forward to representing the newly extended Killaloe Electoral Area, which encompasses a significant geographical area of North West Clare, but said he was hugely disappointed that those communities, such as Carron, were now split. Pat said he is now rooting for his Fianna Fáil colleagues Tony O’Brien, Alan O’Callaghan and …

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Clare Champion’s round table election debate

AS we count down to the opening of the polling stations for Friday’s local and European elections, The Clare Champion this week talks to five people with a deep knowledge of  Clare politics about the candidates and their prospects of success. With reporter Dan Danaher posing the questions in a round table discussion at Cairde in Barrack Street, Ennis, former TDs, Donal Carey (Fine Gael),  Moosajee Bhamjee (Labour) and Tony Killeen (Fianna Fáil), Clare Sinn Féin’s  Kevin Halpin and political observer, Mike Torpey from Tulla, gave their assessment of how the new 28-seat Clare County Council will shape up.

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16th West Clare candidate declares

NON party candidate Joseph Enright, who is from Kilrush and lives in Kilmihil, is the 16th candidate to declare for the local elections on May 23, in the enlarged West Clare constituency. He declared for election on Friday, May 2. The 16 candidates will vie for eight seats. The former Garda sergeant has an avid interest in the Irish language and is chairperson of Coiste Forbartha Gaeltachta Chontae an Chláir. He says that he is conscious of poverty of depopulation in west Clare though emigration, which Mr Enright claims is “due to a lack of sufficient investment in west Clare, going back to 1922.” The election candidate is calling the economic situation in west Clare “Operation Catch Up.”

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