Anti-immigrant campaigner is final councillor elected after five-day count

Tom McDonnell is a joint founder of Éire Saor in Newbridge, Co Kildare

Tom McDonnell said his main priority in the campaign was 'uncontrolled immigration'

Independent Tom McDonnell has become the 949th and final councillor to win a seat in the local elections.

The self-employed builder is married with five children and campaigned on what he has described as uncontrolled immigration.

He is a joint founder of Éire Saor, a grouping of campaigners targeting homelessness in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Three of its campaigners ran for election in the Newbridge area on an anti-immigrant ticket. They received 10.1 per cent of the vote between them.


The Éire Saor website comprises mainly photos and videos of the candidates, with its slogan: “We demand a free sovereign Ireland for future generations.”

After a mammoth four recounts of the 10th count in the Newbridge electoral area, Mr McDonnell stayed ahead of Sinn Féin’s James Stokes and Aontú's Melissa Byrne to win the last seat on the last count along with sitting Fianna Fáil councillors Noel Heavey and Rob Power, who took the fourth and fifth seats.

Mr McDonnell’s family is active in sports in Newbridge, including the local athletics club and Sarsfields GAA club.

Mr McDonnell chaired a group campaigning against modular homes in an amenity area.

His main priority in the campaign was “uncontrolled immigration”. Mr McDonnell has said “the topic is causing huge divide” in town and country.

Mr McDonnell has spoken at a number of anti-immigrant rallies, with the events recorded on the Éire Saor website.

He said he was not against immigrants “but we will not let people into this country that are going to damage our women and children, and destroy our country”.

He accused party politicians of being “sell outs, total traitors to our country”.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times