Local election count to resume in Wicklow

Recount called by right-to-die campaigner Tom Curran

Independent Jennifer Whitmore, right, is a political adviser to Independent Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly, left.

Independent Jennifer Whitmore, right, is a political adviser to Independent Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly, left.

 

Counting resumes this morning in Wicklow where a recount has been called in the Arklow local electoral area.

The recount was called by right-to-die campaigner Tom Curran whose partner Marie Fleming passed away in December.

Mr Curran called for a recalculation after the ninth count when he was just 13 votes behind Sinn Féin’s Mary McDonald.

Mr Curran had 1,075 votes and Ms McDonald 1,088. The quota is 1,347 votes. Two seats are being chased by three candidates including independent Peter Dempsey.

County Council chairman James O’Shaughnessy was eliminated.

Mr Curran campaigned on the regeneration of Arklow and healthcare, including palliative and nursing home care.

Wicklow has something of a reputation for the painstaking nature of its counts - and this election appears no different.

With much of Saturday taken up with separating the Euro votes – of which Simon Harris got about 50 per cent according to tallies – the results of the first count did not come through until the early hours of Sunday morning.

A total of 11 councillors were elected on the first count and the trend indicated Sinn Féin were the big winners overall, with potential for six seats in the county. Fine Gael’s vote has also held up well, with the party expected to retain nine members in the expanded, 32-seat council.

The big poll topper was Jennifer Whitmore, a political adviser to Stephen Donnelly TD, who polled some 2,328 votes in the Greystones electoral area.

By 4.30pm on Sunday, no other councillors had been elected bar the initial 11, but tally predictions for the final outcome in Wicklow were for up to nine seats for Fine Gael, eight for Fianna Fáil, six for Sinn Féin, none for Labour, and about nine Independents.

However, in four of the five electoral areas the battle for the last seat seems very close - for example in the Arklow area, four Independents within 19 votes of each other are expected to be vying for the last seat.