Cork county profile: SF look set to increase representation on Cork County Council
Independents and FF may also win more seats as FG and Labour seek to consolidate
It may be the second largest local authority in the country after Dublin City Council with 55 seats, but Cork County Council is unlikely to prove a safe haven for sitting councillors, with several incumbents facing possible defeat.
Ostensibly, the retirement of 10 sitting councillors, including long-serving Labour councillors Paula Desmond and John Mulvihill snr, plus the addition of seven seats, should suggest sitting councillors who are running again should stand a good chance of re-election.
However, the electoral areas have undergone considerable change, with the amalgamation of several, resulting in situations where there are more sitting councillors than seats in some areas.
The situation is exemplified by Kanturk and Mallow, which previously were separate electoral areas, with four and five seats respectively, but which have now been merged into one six-seater. Eight of the 12 candidates are sitting councillors.
In all, 114 candidates are vying for the 55 seats, with Fine Gael, which has 22 seats in the outgoing council, running 29 candidates, Fianna Fáil, which has 12 outgoing councillors, running 22 and Labour, which has seven outgoing councillors, running 10 candidates.
Sinn Féin has just one outgoing councillor and is running 12 candidates, while six candidates are running under the People’s Candidates banner.
The Greens and People Before Profit are fielding three each; there is one Anti-Austerity Alliance candidate and there are 28 Independents
Pylons, the future of local development groups such as IRD Duhallow in North Cork and Secad in South Cork are the big issues along with water and property charges and roads.
The Government parties are most likely to feel the brunt of any public ire.
In Fermoy, now a six-seater incorporating Charleville, Fianna Fáil should take two seats through councillors Kevin O’Keeffe and Frank O’Flynn; Labour councillor Noel McCarthy should hold on, while Fine Gael should take two.
This leaves Sinn Féin’s June Murphy fancied to take the last seat ahead of Fianna Fáil’s third runner.
Kanturk-Mallow looks like being a real dogfight, with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both looking good for two seats along with Independent councillor John Paul O’Shea.
In Blarney-Macroom, Fine Gael should take two seats, Fianna Fáil at least one if not two through councillor Aindrias Moynihan and Cork County Board chairman Bob Ryan, with Labour councillor Martin Coughlan, Des O’Grady (Sinn Féin) and Kevin Conway (Independent) in the mix for the two last seats.
In the newly formed Carrigaline-Ballincollig area, Fine Gael will take at least three seats; Fianna Fáil should take three; while Labour and Sinn Féin will each take one, leaving Sinn Féin and Fine Gael to battle it out with Independents such as David Boyle, a councillor, and Marcia D’Alton for the last two seats.
In the new Cobh seven-seater, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will both take two seats, with former TD Michael Ahern among the Fianna Fáil runners, while Labour and Sinn Féin should both take a seat, with Independent Seán O’Sullivan from Glanmire a possible contender for the last seat.
In East Cork, veteran Independent Noel Collins will take one seat, while Fine Gael should hold its two seats as Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin both take one, with the same two parties fighting it out for the last seat along with Independent Mary Foley Linehan from Youghal.
Over in Bandon-Kinsale, Fine Gael will take at least two seats, Fianna Fáil should also take two seats, including its leader on the council, Alan Coleman, while Sinn Féin should gain a seat through Rachel McCarthy, with Labour’s Tomás O’Brien battling it out for the last seat with Fine Gael.
Meanwhile West Cork, formed from the amalgamation of the Bantry and Skibbereen electoral areas, is arguably the most difficult to call in that 10 sitting councillors are vying with nine other candidates for eight seats.
Fine Gael has six of the 10 sitting councillors, while Fianna Fáil has three. On that basis, Fine Gael should take at least three seats and Fianna Fáil two, with both parties vying with Labour, Sinn Féin and Independents such as Declan Hurley, a councillor, and Michael Collins for the last three seats.
The overall picture that emerges is that Fine Gael will be seeking to hold its 22 seats in the expanded council, while Fianna Fáil will be hopeful of some gains.
Sinn Féin and Independents will hope to make ground at the expense of Labour, who may see its representation drop from its current level of seven.
Full list of candidates
|Ballincolling-Carrigaline||Collins, John A||(FG)|
|Ballincolling-Carrigaline||Desmond, Mary Rose||(FF)|
|Ballincolling-Carrigaline||O Donnabhain, Daithi||(FF)|
|Ballincolling-Carrigaline||O Laoghaire, Donnchadh||(SF)|
|Blarney-Macroom||O'Callaghan Hallissey, Mary||(Ind)|
|East Cork||Buckley, Pat||(SF)|
|East Cork||Bullman, Paddy||(Ind)|
|East Cork||Collins, Noel||(Ind)|
|East Cork||Halloran, Wayne||(Ind)|
|East Cork||Harty, Natasha||(GP)|
|East Cork||Hegarty, Michael||(FG)|
|East Cork||Hennessy, Michelle||(SF)|
|East Cork||Linehan Foley, Mary||(Ind)|
|East Cork||McCarthy, Susan||(FG)|
|East Cork||Murray, Aisling||(Ind)|
|East Cork||Murray, Barbara||(FG)|
|East Cork||Nolan, Eric||(Lab)|
|East Cork||O'Neill, Niall||(FF)|
|East Cork||O'Sullivan, Aaron||(FF)|
|Fermoy||White, Timmy Rancher||(Ind)|
|Kanturk-Mallow||Fitzgerald, Dan Joe||(FF)|
|Kanturk-Mallow||O'Shea, John Paul||(Ind)|
|West Cork||Carroll, Joe||(FF)|
|West Cork||Collins, Michael||(Ind)|
|West Cork||Harper, Eddie||(PBP)|
|West Cork||Harrington, Finbarr||(Ind)|
|West Cork||Hayes, Paul||(SF)|
|West Cork||Healy, Adrian||(FG)|
|West Cork||Hegarty, Mary||(FG)|
|West Cork||Hurley, Declan||(Ind)|
|West Cork||Kelly, Deirdre||(FF)|
|West Cork||Murphy, Patrick Gerard||(FF)|
|West Cork||O'Donovan, Noel||(FG)|
|West Cork||O'Rourke , Donal||(FF)|
|West Cork||O Seaghdha, Donnchadh||(SF)|
|West Cork||O'Sullivan, Christopher||(FF)|
|West Cork||O'Sullivan, John||(FG)|
|West Cork||O'Sullivan, Michael||(Ind)|
|West Cork||Sheehan, Dermot||(FG)|
|West Cork||Sullivan, Jerry||(FG)|
|West Cork||Thomson, Norma||(Lab)|