Local ElectionsLaois Results

Local Elections: Laois County Council results

Sinn Féin strategy of running seven candidates fails to pay off, with party holding two seats rather than gaining ground

Fine Gael lost a seat on Laois County Council to a first-time Independent candidate, whose breakthrough was the big talking point during a marathon election count.

Portlaoise primary schoolteacher Tommy Mulligan polled 1,099 first preferences and swept up transfers to take the third of seven seats in the fiercely-contested Portlaoise local electoral area. His performance deprived 2016 general election candidate Cllr Thomasina Connell (FG) of the seat she first won in 2019. This showing will damage her chances of being anointed the successor to veteran TD and former minister Charlie Flanagan, who is to retire at the next general election.

The most likely successor now looks to be Laois’s youngest councillor, Conor Bergin (30), who topped the poll in Borris-in-Ossory-Mountmellick with 1,606 first preferences, the highest across the county. It was an increase of 681 on the vote that saw him narrowly take the last seat in the six-seater on his first outing in 2019.

In Graiguecullen-Portarlington, another sitting Fine Gael councillor lost his seat after a battle with party colleague Vivienne Phelan, who was elected following a recount with only 17 votes between her and PJ Kelly, who was co-opted to the council three years ago. Aisling Moran, who left Fine Gael last year to run as an Independent, comfortably retained the seat she first won in 2019 on the retirement of her late father, John Moran.


Sinn Féin’s strategy of running seven candidates across the three electoral areas failed to pay off, with sitting councillors Aidan Mullins and Caroline Dwane Stanley, wife of Laois-Offaly TD Brian Stanley, still the only party members on the council. Labour’s Cllr Marie Tuohy retained the party’s sole council seat in Portlaoise.

There are only two new faces on the 19-seat county council and only one change in political representation.

With the defection of Cllr Moran last year, Fine Gael is down from seven councillors to five. All six sitting Fianna Fáil councillors were returned. With a combined total of 11 seats, the two parties retain the balance of power that has seen them share chairmanships and other plum posts since 2014 under an ongoing pact.

Borris-in-Ossory – Mountmellick: 6 seats

Graiguecullen – Portarlington: 6 seats

Portlaoise: 7 seats