Kilkenny County Council: Brother of high-profile FF TD elected on 11th count

Total of 44 candidates running in 24-seat constituency

Outside of the so-called Green wave and the collapse of the Sinn Féin vote, the election of high-profile TD John McGuinness’s brother Eugene, a non-party candidate, is the big story from Kilkenny.

Mr McGuinness, whose nephew Andrew McGuinness topped the poll in the same city area, received 826 first preferences. He secured enough transfers from other candidates to win a seat on the 11th and final count.

Few had given a chance to the non-party candidate, who was a prominent campaigner against proposals for the construction of a mosque in the Hebron area of Kilkenny city. Following the granting of planning permission by Kilkenny County Council, the scheme was ultimately refused by An Bord Pleanala only a fortnight ago.

Mr McGuinness previously ran in the 2009 local elections, where he received just 302 votes on the first count, in which Cllr Andrew McGuinness topped the poll with 1,880 votes.


The count for Kilkenny city took until 10.50pm on Sunday to finish, with Labour Party candidate Andrea Cleere’s 582 votes distributed among the three candidates fighting for the final seat.

A major talking point from the election had been the success of Fianna Fáil’s Pat Fitzpatrick in north Kilkenny. After losing his seat initially in 2009, he topped the poll in the Castlecomer Electoral Area this time, with 2,249 first preference votes.

Fellow Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Malone was also elected in the city with a first preference vote of 1,271.

Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan (1,485) received a huge vote from the electorate. The city Sinn Féin seat meanwhile, previously held by sitting TD Kathleen Funchion until 2016, has been lost. Her partner Sean Tyrrell was co-opted in her place following her election to Dáil Éireann, and this is his first time to contest an election. Mr Tyrrell received a first preference of 548 votes. Transfers were not enough to get him across the line however, and there will be serious questions asked with no councillors returned across the constituency, with three having been elected in 2014.

Another talking point will be the re-election of two former councillors — Martin Brett (FG) and John Coonan (FF) — who lost their seats in the 2014 Local Elections. They have both managed to win back a seat in the final count in Kilkenny City. In North Kilkenny, Fine Gael's Mary Hilda Cavanagh has retained her seat and becomes Ireland's longest-serving female councillor.

She was first elected in 1974 at the age of 23, and has won every local election she has contested since. The make up of Kilkenny’s council is: Fianna Fail (11), Fine Gael (9), Labour (2), Green Party (1), Non-party (1) Sinn Féin (0).

(First preference votes: candidates elected in bold)

Callan-Thomastown: 6 seats

Peter 'Chap' Cleere (Fianna Fáil) - 1,945 (elected count 1)
Matt Doran (Fianna Fáil) 1,839 (elected count 1)
Michael Doyle (Fine Gael) - 1,378 (elected on count 6)
Patrick O'Neill (Fine Gael) - 1,399 - (elected on count 7)
Joe Lyons (Fine Gael) - 1,042 (elected on count 7)
Deirdre Cullen (Fianna Fáil) - 862 (elected on count 7)

Breda Patricia Gardner (Independent) - 821
David Kennedy (Sinn Féin) - 728
Trish Finegan (Independent) - 365
John Kelly (Independent) - 362
Michael McGrath (Independent) - 113
John Carroll (Independent) - 41

Castlecomer: 6 seats

Pat Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fáil) - 2,249 (elected count 1)
Mary Hilda Cavanagh (Fine Gael) - 1,687 (elected count 1)
Michael Mc Carthy (Fianna Fáil) - 1,591 (elected count 1)
John Brennan (Fine Gael) - 1,189 (elected on count 3)
Michael Delaney (Fianna Fáil) - 985 (elected count 4)
Denis Hynes (Labour Party) - 1,098 (elected count 5)

Pat O'Neill (Fine Gael) - 819
Joseph Kavanagh (Sinn Féin) - 507

Kilkenny: 7 seats

Andrew McGuinness (Fianna Fáil) - 1,860 (elected count 1)
Malcolm Noonan (Green Party) - 1,485 (elected count 1)
Joe Malone (Fianna Fáil) - 1,271 (elected count 1)
David Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) - 1,151 (elected count 2)
Martin Brett (Fine Gael) - 479 (elected count 2)
John Coonan (Fianna Fáil) - 698 (elected count 2)
Eugene McGuinness (Independent) - 826 (elected count 11)

Sean Tyrrell (Sinn Féin) - 548
Orla Kelly (Fine Gael) - 309
Andrea Cleere (Labour Party) - 301
Luke O'Connor (Independent) - 236
Stephanie Hanlon (Solidarity-People Before Profit) - 231
Enya Kennedy (Independent) - 161
Noel Gerard Walsh (Independent) - 31

Piltown: 5 seats

Pat Dunphy (Fine Gael) - 1,579 (elected on count 1)
Tomás Breathnach (Labour Party) - 1,516 (elected on count 1)
Fidelis Doherty (Fine Gael) - 1,059 (elected on count 6)
Eamon Aylward (Fianna Fáil) - 1,013 (elected on count 6)
Ger Frisby (Fianna Fáil) - 970 (elected on count 6)

Grace Doyle (Sinn Féin) - 675
Rob Duggan (Fianna Fáil) - 612
John Hayes (Fine Gael) - 319
Melissa O'Neill (Independent) - 233
Alan Curran (Independent) - 81