City's Lazarus claims resurrection status as he defeats provider of fish

 

"On the third day, he rose again." Galway Fine Gael Senator Fintan Coogan could not resist a Biblical allusion yesterday when he secured the last seat in the final recount for Galway Corporation.

Already dubbed "Lazarus", he was confirmed for the seventh seat in the city's north-east ward during mid-afternoon yesterday after two recounts and two very long nights.

The Progressive Democrats, who called for both checks, accepted the result after a fierce battle by new PD candidate and fish wholesaler Mr Gary Creaven.

During the tussle in Westside Community Centre, the electoral rules were stretched to their limit. Candidates are permitted to ask for only one recount, but the PDs secured the second when party colleague Mr Declan McDonnell asked again on Mr Creaven's behalf.

A lecturer in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Mr Coogan is a former mayor and is the third generation of a political dynasty. He was part of a double act, with Mr John Donnellan, which captured two of the five Dail seats for Fine Gael in Galway West in the 1980s.

Mr Coogan will remember these elections for a long time to come, as his first trauma occurred during the selection convention. He had to be added to the party ticket by the national executive.

The attendant publicity did not help his campaign, he said yesterday.

Fianna Fail's Mr Val Hanley, a publican, secured the sixth seat in the northeast ward, while Ms Terry O'Flaherty secured a seat for the PDs.

In Tuam, the town commissioners have lost one Travellers' representative, Ms Ellen Mongan, but have gained another, Mr Martin Ward.