Local ElectionsGalway County Results

Local Elections: Galway County Council results

Fianna Fáil loses vote share and seats after councillors at centre of refugee accommodation row secure election as Independent candidates

Galway County Council has returned 28 of the 39 councillors who served on the last council after 79 candidates went to post looking to be elected across seven electoral areas.

Three outgoing councillors – Fianna Fáil’s Shelly Herterich Quinn and Daithí Ó Cualain, along with Alastair McKinstry of the Green Party – failed to retain their seats.

There are 11 new councillors, although Peter Feeney (FG) and Shaun Cunniffe (Independent Ireland), have served previously. The gender breakdown remains the same with 33 men and six women elected.

It has been a good election for Fine Gael even though its first preference vote dropped by less than one point to 29.4 per cent. The party managed to increase its seat number from 11 to 13 and it is now the largest party on the council.


Fine Gael’s vote management was evident in Tuam, where Headford-based Andrew Reddington and Abbeyknockmoy’s Peter Roche sailed home on the first count and then brought a third colleague, Galway Bay FM sports editor Ollie Turner, who was elected on his first attempt.

Donagh Killilea, a third generation politician elected in Tuam, aired some dissatisfaction with the Fianna Fáil leadership after the party lost four seats, finishing with 11 councillors after its first preference share fell from 32.8 per cent to 27.3 per cent.

The resignation of two Fianna Fáil councillors after a winter of discontent over accommodation for refugees in the Oughterard area contributed to this. Seamus Walsh and Noel Thomas left the party after a bitter row and both stood as Independents. They succeeded in increasing their vote, with Cllr Thomas topping the poll in Connemara South and Cllr Walsh coming second in Connemara North.

Independent Tom Welby topped the poll in Connemara North and, as he did in 2019, had the honour of being the first councillor elected in the State.

Sinn Féin doubled its seats from one to two, the Green Party lost its only seat and the council remains without any representatives from Labour, the Social Democrats and People Before Profit-Solidarity. The number of Independent councillors increased from 11 to 13.

Athenry – Oranmore: 7 seats

Ballinasloe: 6 seats

Conamara North: 4 seats

Conamara South: 5 seats

Gort – Kinvara: 5 seats

Loughrea: 5 seats

Tuam: 7 seats