Pacts hold firm in mayoral elections


FIANNA FÁIL, Fine Gael and Labour continued their 30-year electoral pact on Cork Corporation and elected Councillor Dara Murphy (FG) as Lord Mayor of the city.

There had been speculation that the pact arrangement might be sundered given that Fianna Fáil lost four of its ten seats and was replaced as the largest party on the council by Fine Gael who held its eight seats with Labour gaining a seat to increase its representation to seven.

However, this did not happen and last night Mr Murphy, who is from Gardiner’s Hill on the city’s northside, was elected to the post. In Limerick Kevin Kiely (FG) became the 813th mayor of the city, a position denied to him last year when he lost out by a single vote because of the collapse of an arrangement between Fine Gael and Labour.

A former Progressive Democrats councillor was elected new mayor of Galway city. Independent city councillor Declan McDonnell took the post under an arrangement between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and three Independent councillors.

The political arrangement, which was brokered in spite of the fact that Labour holds a third of Galway city council seats, will apply for the five-year local authority term.

A tripartite agreement between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour saw Labour’s Jim McGarry elected mayor of Sligo, defeating Sinn Féin’s Chris McManus by a margin of eight votes to four.

There had been speculation that a left-wing alliance would emerge on Sligo Borough Council in the wake of an election which saw Fianna Fáil lose two seats while Labour and Sinn Féin won three seats each while Independent socialist Declan Bree topped the poll in his ward.

The first Green Party mayor of Kilkenny city was elected last night when, in a tight contest, Cllr Malcolm Noonan won thanks to the support of Fine Gael and Labour members.

The 42-year-old landscape gardener, qualified town planner and rock band member is only one of three Green Party councillors to win seats in the local elections last week and only the third member of the party to be elected mayor of a city in Ireland.

The three Independent councillors on Arklow Town Council have joined forces with the two Labour members and Independent councillor Peter Dempsey was elected as mayor with Labour’s Bernie O’Halloran voted in as the deputy mayor. Fine Gael councillor Denis Dunne was elected Mayor of Clonmel Borough Council.

The Workers Unemployed Action Group (WUAG), led by former Independent TD Seamus Healy which won five of the council’s 12 seats in the recent election and is the council’s largest party, held a protest outside the town hall to protest at being “excluded from the mayoralty”.

In Bundoran, Co Donegal, Fianna Fáil claimed the election of Eamon Barrett (FG) as chairman of the town council was illegal. They say the election breached the Local Authority Act.

Mr Barrett is the first Fine Gael chairman of the council in 14 years.