Local ElectionsWestmeath Results

Local Elections: Westmeath County Council results

Sinn Féin and Independents make gains with first preference haul of Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran a talking point

Sinn Féin and Independent candidates made gains in the election to Westmeath County Council, increasing their representation by two seats and one seat respectively at the expense of the Green Party and Fine Gael.

Twenty seats have been filled across four electoral areas, with Fianna Fáil emerging as the largest party once again after holding on to its nine seats, ahead of Fine Gael (four), Independents (three), Sinn Féin (two) and Labour (two).

The big surprise here was the scale of support for former minister of state Kevin “Boxer” Moran, who received 3,725 first preference votes in Athlone and has confirmed his intention to run in the next general election after losing his seat in 2020.

“I am 100 per cent running for the Dáil; I’ve always said that and that’s what I’ve been telling people on the doors,” he said. “We all make mistakes in public life. But in this case, we’re righting a wrong now with a very strong vote.”


After his surplus of more than 2,000 votes was divided on Sunday, Fianna Fáil’s Aengus O’Rourke and Frankie Keena retained their seats. Fellow incumbents John Dolan (Fine Gael) and Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland) filled the remaining seats in the Athlone electoral area, where counting finished at 3pm on Monday.

Independent Mick Dollard secured his position as Westmeath’s longest-serving councillor, with 40 years experience behind him, after being elected on the first count in the six-seat Mullingar electoral area. He was followed by Fianna Fáil’s Ken Glynn, who was elected on the second count for his fifth term.

There was late drama in the Mullingar area on Sunday night when a recount was called after just five votes separated Fine Gael’s Gerard Heery and Sinn Féin’s Julie McCourt. Ms McCourt was elected on Monday evening. She succeeds Sorca Clarke, now a TD, who Ms McCourt works with as a parliamentary assistant. The remaining seats were filled by two sitting Fianna Fáil councillors and one from Fine Gael.

In Kinnegad, the retirement of three councillors at the end of the last term meant a long ballot paper of 16 candidates running for five seats and a lengthy counting process. It took until count seven at 11pm on Saturday for Labour’s Denis Leonard to take the first seat. He was followed by Sinn Féin’s David Jones on count 10, a parliamentary assistant to Deputy Johnny Guirke, and Fianna Fáil newcomer Alfie Devine.

Westmeath’s youngest candidate, Niall Gaffney (FF), a barrister who turned 28 on polling day, was elected on count 11 along with incumbent Emily Wallace (FG) who took the final seat.

The Green Party lost its two seats, with Hazel Smyth and Louise Heavin missing out in Mullingar and Athlone respectively.

Athlone: 5 seats

Kinnegad: 5 seats

Moate: 4 seats

Mullingar: 6 seats