Trevor, Trevor – where did the Ó go?

Trevor Ó Clochartaigh at a previous election count.

Fadó, fadó in Connemara the Ó in surnames was integral to locals’ identity and sense of place – and those who dropped it in famine times were accused of ‘taking the soup’. But when it comes to general elections, all bets – and, as it turns out, Ó’s – are off!

Because Sinn Fein’s Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh is following in the footsteps of his Galway West election opponent Éamon Ó Cuív in moving around the letters to move up the board.

The King of Connemara famously dropped the Ó in his surname off the ballot paper last time out – so he became Cuív, Éamon Ó.

And as election candidates’ names are listed alphabetically, this bumped the Fianna Fáil Deputy up the ballot paper, which, according to analysts, increases your likelihood of being elected.

The theory goes that this is because voters start from the top of the ballot paper and work their way down when filling in their preferences in the polling booths.

So the Carna-based Sinn Féin candidate has changed his name on election posters to Clochartaigh, Trevor Ó.

And he has included it also on the official ‘Notice of Poll’ this week, which means that Clochartaigh, Trevor Ó, will be on the ballot paper.

This bit of trickery means that Clochartaigh, Trevor Ó, now leapfrogs Cuív, Éamon Ó, on the ballot paper.

Clochartaigh, Trevor Ó, will now be the second candidate listed on the ballot paper, after James Charity and before Catherine Connolly.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.