Tipperary Council results: Sinn Féin win seats in each of the five electoral areas
Dreadful result for Labour partially redeemed by Fiona Bonfield winning a seat in Nenagh
Independent TD Michael Lowry. Four of the seven non-party councillors in North Tipperary are “Lowry Independents” and the organisation is also running an additional two candidates in the Thurles-Templemore electoral area.
Sinn Féin pulled off the previously-unthinkable electoral feat of winning a seat in each of the five electoral areas in Co Tipperary, increasing their county council representation from one to five.
Only Séamus Morris in the Nenagh area held a seat on the old North Tipperary county council for the party coming into these elections, with no-one from the party on South Tipperary County Council.
But canny electoral strategy combined with popular candidates saw the party comfortably pull in five seats, the last of them coming in the last count in Clonmel when newcomer Catherine Carey got over the line.
Meanwhile, a dreadful day for Labour was only partially redeemed in Tipperary when Fiona Bonfield won a seat for the party in the Nenagh electoral area. She will be a newcomer to county council politics, while the party’s outgoing four councillors - Michael Cleere in Carrick, Seanie Lonergan in Cahir, Virginia O’Dowd in Nenagh and John Kennedy in Templemore-Thurles all lost their seats.
Meanwhile, Independent TD Michael Lowry has predicted a general election “sooner rather than later” as a result of Labour’s collapse in the local elections at the weekend.
Mr Lowry’s independent organisation ran six candidates across the Thurles-Templemore and Nenagh electoral areas for Tipperary County Council but after some close calls in the late counts lost one of its four seats, that of John “Rocky” McGrath.
Among those set to secure a seat was the former Fine Gael minister’s son, sitting councillor Micheál Lowry. “We’ve done exceptionally well, we’ve had a very good campaign but the bounce of a ball can mean the difference between three and five seats,” Michael Lowry said of the result.
He said he was “happy” with his organisation’s vote. “I’d imagine after these results we’ll have a general election sooner rather than later. To have effective government, you have to have rational and reasonable decisions taken. The reaction from the Labour Party to their current predicament would be one to believe that their expectations and targets cannot be met by a government that’s concerned about seriously running the country.” He added: “I’ll be ready.”
Independents are set to make up almost one-third of the 40 seats in Tipperary County Council, while Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are also happy with their performances, taking 14 seats each. Former Fianna Fáil minister Michael Smith was another who saw a son, Michael Jnr, enjoy electoral success with a huge first preference vote of 2568 in Thurles-Templemore.
Mr Smith Snr said it may be a springboard for his son to seek a Fianna Fáil nomination for the next general election. “It’s a result which I think, obviously, people are going to look at and think about,” he said. “He’s just had this fantastic election and he’s fairly jaded, I don’t think he’s thinking about anything else but a few days off. If I were back in the beginning of my political career, I might be thinking of something else but that’s for another day.”