It was a bruising 15 hours at the count centre in Waterford on Sunday featuring triumphant wins and devastating losses as the 32 city and county councillors battled for their seat.
Turnout across Waterford was just over 53% and counting began at 9am on Sunday morning and continued until shortly after midnight when the final seats were filled in quick succession by the elections of Fianna Fail’s Eamon Quinlan and Sinn Fein’s Jim Griffin, who ensured the party retained their six seats.
Their success came at the expense of long time Independent councillor Blaise Hannigan, who was knocked out in the final count. Despite having over 20 years of experience, Cha O’Neill was also not safe from the guillotine, nor was Sean Reinhardt.
The first councillors across the line were from the Lismore District - Labour’s John Pratt, followed by Fianna Fáil’s James Tobin. Mayor of Waterford city and county, Cllr Declan Doocey took the third and final seat.
In Portlaw-Kilmacthomas Fine Gael's Séanie Power and Liam Brazil sailed home in the first count after both exceeding the quota. Fianna Fáil's John O'Leary, Sinn Féin's Declan Clune were re-elected, while Labour's Ger Barron regained the seat he lost during the near annihilation of his party in the last Local Elections.
Sinn Féin’s John Hearne was the only candidate to be elected in Waterford City South on the first count after exceeding the quota with 14.7% of first preference votes. Labour’s Seamus Ryan regained the seat he lost in the predominantly working class area five years ago. Independent Donal Barry along with John Cummins and Jason Murphy of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael respectively were elected.
In Waterford City East cardiac campaigner Matt Shanahan (Ind) smashed through the quota in the first count, with fellow independent Davy Daniels following closely behind.
Fianna Fail duo Eddie Mulligan and Adam Wyse were both re-elected. The Green wave was evident in Waterford with the elections of newcomers Marc O Cathasaigh and Jody Power. It came down to the wire for Sinn Fein’s Pat Fitzgerald, who fought off Fine Gael’s Sharon Carey for the final seat in the district.
Independent Councillors Joe Conway and Joe Kelly later regained their seats on the council as well as European Elections candidate Grace O’Sullivan’s sister Lola, who was the first of two women elected. The latter being Sinn Féin’s Breda Brennan.
Damien Geoghegan (FG) confidently sailed through in Dungarvan with 1,716, followed by Tom Cronin of Fianna Fáil. The final four seats were filled from candidates from Labour, Sinn Fein an Independent and former Mayor Pat Nugent.
(First preference votes: candidates elected in bold)
Dungarvan: 6 seats
Damien Geoghegan (Fine Gael) - 1,716 (elected count 1)
Tom Cronin (Fianna Fáil) - 1,206 (elected count 2)
Pat Nugent (Fine Gael) - 998 (elected count 7)
Conor D McGuinness (Sinn Féin) - 772 (elected count 8)
Séamus O'Donnell (Ind) - 713 (elected count 8)
Thomas Phelan(Labour Party) - 674 (elected count 8)
Ian Noctor (Fine Gael) - 573
Joe O'Riordan (Ind) - 497
Ann Marie Rossiter (Fianna Fáil) - 491
Caren Hallahan (Ind) - 377
Siobhán Whelan (Sinn Féin) - 353
Ciara Langan (Ind) - 113
Seán French (Fianna Fáil) - 85
Lismore: 3 seats
John Pratt (Labour) - 1,385 (elected count 1)
James Tobin (Fianna Fáil) - 1,208 (elected count 1)
Declan Doocey (Fine Gael) - 1,041 (elected count 2)
Louise Brierley (Sinn Féin) - 425
Lynne Glasscoe (Green Party) - 331
Portlaw-Kilmacthomas: 5 seats
Seánie Power (Fine Gael) - 1,591 (elected count 1)
Liam Brazil (Fine Gael) - 1,482 (elected count 1)
John O'Leary (Fianna Fáil) - 1,123 (elected count 4)
Ger Barron (Labour) - 981 (elected count 5)
Declan Clune (Sinn Féin) - 740 (elected count 6)
Ray Murphy (Fianna Fáil) - 616
Mairead Coffey-Jacob (Fine Gael) - 445
Dolores Whelan (Ind) - 280
Ann Troy (Ind) - 259
Tramore–Waterford City West: 6 seats
Marc Ó Cathasaigh (Green Party) - 1,122 (elected count 2)
Joe Conway (Ind) - 1,080 (elected count 5)
Lola O'Sullivan (Fine Gael) - 1,027 (elected on count 6)
Joe Kelly (Ind) - 950 (elected on count 10)
Eamon Quinlan (Fianna Fáil) - 762 (elected on count 10)
Jim Griffin (Sinn Féin) - 581 (elected on count 10)
Blaise Hannigan (Ind) - 687
Leslie Hughes (Sinn Féin) - 395
Úna Dunphy (Solidarity–PBP) - 332
Michael Gallwey (Renua Ireland) - 253
Maxine Keoghan (Fine Gael) -248
Rita Lacey (Fianna Fáil) - 170
Brendan Byrne (Ind) - 169
Melissa O'Neill (Ind) - 81
Waterford City East: 6 seats
Matt Shanahan (Ind) - 1,736 (elected count 1)
David Daniels (Ind)- 1,201 (elected count 2)
Eddie Mulligan (Fianna Fáil) - 932 (elected count 7)
Adam Wyse (Fianna Fáil) - 892 (elected count 7)
Jody Power (Green Party) - 765 (elected count 7)
Pat Fitzgerald (Sinn Féin) - 587 (elected count 7)
Sharon Carey (Fine Gael) - 578
Michael Doyle (Sinn Féin) - 536
Lee Walsh (Ind) - 523
Fiona Dowd (Fine Gael) - 482
Michael Garland (Ind) - 311
Waterford City South: 6 seats
John Hearne (Sinn Féin) - 1,071 (elected count 1)
John Cummins (Fine Gael) - 862 (elected count 9)
Donal Barry (Ind) - 724 (elected count 9)
Jason Murphy (Fianna Fáil) - 763 (elected count 10)
Séamus Ryan (Labour Party) - 622 (elected count 10)
Breda Brennan (Sinn Féin) - 444 (elected count 10)
Laurence O'Neill (Ind) - 508
Andrew Power (Ind) - 446
Susan Gallagher (Green Party) - 441
Seán Reinhardt (Ind) - 407
Warren Fitzgerald (Sinn Féin) - 312
Vivienne Burns (Ind) - 268
Ronan Cleary (Aontú) - 246
Brendan Byrne (Ind) - 171