The distribution of Michael ‘Stroke’ Fahy’s votes has now been completed and Fianna Fail’s Cllr Anne Rabbitte and it pushed her closer towards the winning line.
She received 571 transfers and now is guaranteed to take the sole Fianna Fail seat in the constituency.
Of course the reason for this is that Fahy is a former member of the Fianna Fail party but left following a falling out with the hierarchy.
Meanwhile, the gap between Fine Gael’s Paul Connaughton and Ciaran Cannon has widened and it is becoming increasingly worrying for the Mountbellew man who was first elected in 2011 to succeed his father Paul snr.
Sinn Fein’s Annemarie Roche has now been eliminated and the counters are distributing her votes. According to the tallymen, she received a considerable number of ‘plumpers’ meaning she received number ones but those who voted for her did not continue a preference for any other candidate.
Distribution of Michael Fahy IND votes
Canney Sean IND +359 9072
Cannon Ciaran FG +430 7650
Rabbitte Anne FF +571 7566
Connaughton Paul FG +153 6689
Keaveney Colm FF +312 5823
Higgins Lorraine LAB +288 5080
Roche Annemarie SF +193 3159
TALLIES: Fine Gael will struggle to hold seat in City East
Fine Gael will struggle to hold its seat in Galway City East.
TALLIES: Cheevers looks set to take a seat in City East
With just over half the boxes tallied for Galway City East, Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers looks set to take a seat, polling at over 17 per cent of first preferences.
With Mervue, Ballybane and Tirellan polling stations still to be tallied, Cheevers has taken the lead, with Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty slipping into second with 16 per cent.
Incumbent Fianna Fáil councillor Mike Crowe is on 10.5 per cent, with Independent councillor Declan McDonnell on 8 per cent.
The Green’s Claire Hillery looks to be benefitting from the party’s nationwide jump in the polls, collecting 6.5 per cent of first preferences.
Sitting Councillors Noel Larkin (Ind), Mairéad Farrell (SF) and John Walsh (FG) are polling at 7.5 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.
Also still in contention is the Social Democrats’ Owen Hanley with 6.6 per cent of the vote.
Deal demands better focus on rural Ireland initiatives
A concession on turf cutting, an examination of the decision to close rural Garda stations and post offices – as well as flood alleviation – are all on the shopping list for at least two of Galway’s independent TDs before any agreement to support a new Government.
Both Michael Fitzmaurice from Glinsk and Sean Canney from Tuam have been in discussions with the main parties since the general election with a view to securing their support.
They are part of the six-strong Independent Alliance which also includes Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Shane Ross – but top of their list concerns they have regarding rural Ireland.
It is understood that part of any deal would see some concession on the whole turf cutting controversy, while the issue of the closure of rural Garda Stations and rural post offices are also high on the agenda.
Deputy Canney said that so too was the recent flooding crisis and added that many farmers and individual householders were still suffering.
The Independent Alliance will hold further discussions with the parties and Deputy Canney emphasised that they were not demanding ministerial positions but just a better deal for rural Ireland.
They are demanding, however, that there will be a full Minister for Rural Affairs appointed once the new government is formed.
Deputy Canney added that it was being suggested that a TD in each constituency would report back to this department.