Roscommon Council results: Fine Gael vote implodes in the three electoral areas
Fianna Fáil takes eight out of eighteen seats on Roscommon County Council,
Senator Terry Leyden’s daughter Orla, a sitting councillor, retained a seat for Fianna Fáil in Roscommon
Fianna Fáil taking eight out of eighteen seats on Roscommon County Council, coupled with the implosion of the Fine Gael vote in each of the three electoral areas has been the talking point of the 2014 local election in County Roscommon.
With a by-election looming following Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’s tour de force in Connacht/Mid Ulster, Fianna Fáil will be confident of harnessing the 35 per cent of the vote they secured in last weekend’s election to take Ming’s seat. The party took eight out of possible ten seats in the county, while several long serving Fine Gael councillors failed to retain their seats.
Councillors Seán Beirne and Michael McGreal, both elected to the council in 1985 and returned at each subsequent election both lost their seats at the count centre in Roscommon Town yesterday evening.
A strong independent surge meant that community activist Kathleen Shanagher and Roscommon U-21 football manager Nigel Dineen were the surprises successes in the Roscommon local election area with Senator Terry Leyden’s daughter Orla and poll topper Paschal Fitzmaurice taking two seats for Fianna Fáil.
Just one Fine Gael councillor, Michael Creaton, was successful in this area and he will be joined by former Fine Gael councillor, now independent Domnick Connolly who left the party following the closure of the A&E Department in 2011.
In Athlone, Fianna Fáil took three seats with Ivan Connaughton, Paddy Kilduff and John Keogh elected. Poll topper in this area was Tony Ward, an independent. He will be joined on the council by John Naughten, brother of Deputy Denis Naughten who secured Fine Gael’s only seat in this six-seater.
Former Fine Gael councillor Laurence Fallon who left the party over the hospital issue in 2011 retained his seat with sitting Fine Gael councillor Ollie Moore failing to retain a seat for the party.
In the Boyle area, Fianna Fáil managed to take three seats after running four candidates which saw the late Seán Doherty’s daughter Rachel take a seat along with fellow sitting councillors Eugene Murphy and John Cummins. HAC candidate Valerie Byrne secured a large vote and was elected on the sixth vote with a strong showing from Sinn Féin’s only councillor Michael Mulligan from Ballaghaderreen being comfortably re-elected.
The surprise of this area was the performance of first time Fine Gael candidate Maura Hopkins, who was only added to the ticket after convention and managed to take the only Fine Gael seat for the party in Boyle. Running four candidates proved to be a step too far for the party in this area, with two sitting councillors failing to be re-elected. Hopkins appears to be the likely Fine Gael candidate in the upcoming by-election given her strong showing.