LE19 – Mayor Ward and Emer Higgins top the polls

LE19 – Mayor Ward and Emer Higgins top the polls

By Maurice Garvey

A CONSISTENT theme throughout the seven South Dublin County Council local electoral areas, was that all the early tally front-runners – including Clondalkin, Lucan and Palmerstown-Fonthill – managed to hold their seat positions during the long count at Citywest Hotel.

Boundary changes ahead of the local elections saw the traditional Clondalkin and Lucan wards modified, with the addition on Palmerstown-Fonthill.

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William Carey and Mark Ward celebrate their election on Sunday with TD Eoin Ó Broin and Sinn Féin supporters

In 2014, both Clondalkin and Lucan had eight seats each, but this time around, Clondalkin (7 seats), Lucan (5), and Palmerstown-Fonthill (5), meant there was likely to be a surprise or two.

Palmerstown-Fonthill: And so it came to pass, with Palmerstown-Fonthill seeing three councillors fail to get re-elected.

The biggest shock was perhaps Danny O’Brien (SF), who was elected a Lucan councillor in 2014. Jonathan Graham (FF) and Ruth Nolan (I4C), found the going tough early on in the count and lost their seats.

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Cllr Emma Murphy and Cllr Paul Gogarty

Mayor of South Dublin County Mark Ward blitzed home with 1,425 first-preference votes, followed by local area stalwart Guss O’Connell (Ind), and Madeline Johansson (SPBP). Two new councillors were elected to this ward on the eleventh count with O’Connell and Johansson. Alan Hayes (Ind) and Shane Moynihan (FF) ran unsuccessfully in 2014 and 2009 respectively, but built up their steady numbers from those campaigns to secure seats this time around.

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Cllr Trevor Gilligan with family and friends

Lucan: A hotly contested ward with five seats, 14 candidates and a 43.4 per cent turnout. The big story here, besides the strong showing from Paul Gogarty (Ind) and Vicki Casserly (FG), was that of Liona O’Toole (Ind), who was expected to be up against it. O’Toole secured over 1,100 first-preference votes, enough to leave her comfortably in third place and feeling relieved and delighted on Saturday, long before the count was completed on Sunday night. Returning Labour stalwart Joanna Tuffy secured one of just two seats for the party in SDCC, and Ed O’Brien (FF) retained his seat. Caroline Brady (FG), Anne-Marie McNally (SD) and Caitriona McLean (FF), had too much ground to make up from the first-preference votes.

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Cllr Emer Higgins who topped the poll in Clondalkin with Stephen O’Neill at the count centre in Citywest

Clondalkin: The big story here, besides the three new faces elected, was Emer Higgins (FG) claiming nearly 2,000 first-preference votes, and coasting home. Higgins was followed by Francis Timmons (1,171 first-preference votes) and newcomer Eoin Ó Broin (1,074). Surprise package William Carey (SF) got the fourth seat, possibly at the expense of his party colleague and fellow first-time candidate Lisa Kinsella-Colman. The eighth and final round of counting saw Trevor Gilligan (FF) and Kenneth Egan (FG) retain their seats, with Green Party first-timer Peter Kavanagh rounding off Clondalkin. Labour will be disappointed that returning former TD Robert Dowds couldn’t secure a seat in Dublin 22 – that may be the last time he contests an election.

Candidates elected in Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown and Fonthill

Clondalkin (7 Seats)
1st Round Emer Higgins (FG)
4th Francis Timmons (Ind)
6th Eoin O’Broin (Ind)
7th William Carey (SF)
8th Trevor Gilligan (FF)
8th Kenneth Egan (FG)
8th Peter Kavanagh (GP)

Palmerstown-Fonthill (5 seats)
1st Round Mark Ward (SF)
11th Guss O’Connell (Ind)
11th Alan Hayes (Ind),
11th Madeleine Johansson (SPBP)
11th Shane Moynihan (FF)

Lucan (5 seats)
4th Round Paul Gogarty (Ind)
9th Liona O’Toole (Ind)
10th Vicki Casserly (FG)
11th Joanna Tuffy (Lab) and Ed O’Brien (FF)


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