Social Democrats ‘reasonably happy’ with the party’s performance

Co-leader Catherine Murphy says party’s goal is to reach 20 councillors

Catherine Murphy: “We are still in play in quite a few areas, so it is difficult to see what the final number will be”

Catherine Murphy: “We are still in play in quite a few areas, so it is difficult to see what the final number will be”

 

Despite a trying weekend for those on the left, the Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy says she is “reasonably happy” with the party’s performance in the local elections.

She said as of Sunday evening the party had 10 councillors elected. The goal was to reach 20, and that this was the aim throughout the campaign.

In one of their more stand-out victories over the weekend, the party’s candidate in Clontarf Catherine Stocker managed to beat Cathal Haughey, grandson of Charlie Haughey, for the final seat in the area. Mr Haughey had been widely expected to clinch the seat.

“We are still in play in quite a few areas, so it is difficult to see what the final number will be. Generally, we would be reasonably happy with our performance so far,” Ms Murphy told The Irish Times.

“There is no doubt that we were impacted by the Green vote because we would be fishing in the same pond to a certain extent.”

She said she was disappointed that the party’s candidate in Lucan, Anne-Marie McNally, did not secure a seat. Ms McNally is the party’s political director.

The leadership will be keeping a keen eye on Bantry West Cork on Monday where a recount has been called. Independent Finbarr Harrington is only one vote ahead of Soc Dem’s candidate Holly McKeever Cairns.

There has been acrimony in the Social Democrats in relation to their European candidate Gary Gannon, who looks set to lose out on a seat in the European Parliament, although he retained his seat on Dublin City Council. He criticised the party leadership this weekend, saying that he felt he was not publicly supported by them.

Bigger world

Meanwhile, Soc Dems candidate Ellie Kisyombe said there was a “bigger world out there” after failing to secure a seat in Dublin’s North Inner City.

Ms Kisyombe was the subject of controversy after inaccuracies in her backstory were reported in the media, prompting the party to commission a review into her candidacy. Her candidacy went ahead after the completion of that review.

“I am happy with the weekend in that Gary Gannon was elected,” she said, referring to his victory in Cabra Glasnevin.

“For my first time I think I did well. I still have my public life, I have a lot of things happening, and many doors opening and many opportunities. There is a bigger world out there for me.”

Asked would she remain in the Social Democrats, she said: “That is a story for another day. Right now I do not want to comment on that.”