Dublin city: Sinn Féin is now largest party with 16 seats

Labour has lost 10 of its 18 seats, including that of Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn

Ballot papers for Dublin city council  at RDS count centre at Ballsbridge in Dublin. The last of the 63 seats were filled this evening.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ballot papers for Dublin city council at RDS count centre at Ballsbridge in Dublin. The last of the 63 seats were filled this evening. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Sun, May 25, 2014, 14:47

The State’s largest local authority Dublin City Council finally filled its 63 seats tonight.

Following two long days of counting, the result in the last of the nine city wards Ballyfermot-Drimnagh was called at 8.40pm after the final three seats went to Independents Vincent Jackson and Paul Hand and Fianna Fáil’s Daithi De Roiste on the 12th and last count.

Sinn Féin, which came into the elections with just five seats is now the biggest party on the council, with 16 councillors, particularly remarkable given the party only ran 18 candidates, a modesty it might be regretting particularly in Pembroke-South Dock where Chris Andrews, the former Fianna Fáil councillor and TD, had almost an extra half quota and no Sinn Féin running mate.

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Labour as expected was hit hard. It came into the election with 18 seats, at one stage during the last term having 20 councillors.

It is now down to eight, a tough position but putting it on a par with the other established parties.

Its most dramatic loss is that of Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn, while its most impressive success was in Ballymun, the only ward it took two seats with Andrew Montague and Aine Clancy.

Fine Gael also has eight seats down from 12. Its most prominent loss was that of Gerry Breen, a long serving councillor in the Clontarf area who was hit by the ward change to Ballymun.

It performed best in Rathgar-Rathmines where it picked up two seats with two new councillors Kate O’Connell and Paddy Smyth.

Fianna Fáil now has nine seats. Its greatest success was in Clontarf where both sitting councillor Deirdre Heney, and former junior minister (and former lord mayor of Dublin) Sean Haughey were elected.

The left had a fantastic election.

Coming in Brid Smith was the lone People Before Profit councillor. There are now four others.

With Pat Dunne of the United Left and Michael O’Brien of the Anti Austerity Alliance and number of other left-leaning independents also elected, they will be a powerful block vote on the council.

But so too will be the independents who occupy more of the middle ground, such as Ruairi McGinley, Nial Ring and Mannix Flynn, and several others among the 12 using the Independent title.

The Green Party has had its best results in the city since 1991. From No seats in the last council it now has three, with two new councillors in councillors in Patrick Costello, in Rathgar Rathmines, and Claire Byrne in Pembroke- South Dock and as well as veteran councillor and TD Ciaran Cuffe.