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Election 2020

Galway East 5th Count: Killilea eliminated

Declan Tierney

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The fifth count has been completed for the Galway East constituency –  It was the distribution of the Green’s Eoin Madden’s votes and Sinn Fein’s Louis O’Hara, as expected, was the main beneficiary and it would be something of a shock if he didn’t go on to capture a seat.

Predictions that he may not have been transfer-friendly have proven unfounded as he received a significant boost from the Green Party candidate to now put him more than 1,300 ahead of third-placed Ciarán Cannon who is now expected to take the third seat ahead of party colleague Cllr Pete Roche.

But the big shock is Fianna Fáil looking like relinquishing a seat in what has traditionally been an FF stronghold but outgoing TD Anne Rabbitte has too much ground to make up. She is trailing O’Hara by more than 2,300 votes and would need a huge transfer from Donagh Killilea in order to survive.

After the fifth count, Donagh Killilea was eliminated and his 5,171 are being distributed. Poll topper Sean Canney will benefit hugely from this given that they are both Belclare natives and could even reach the quota of 10,631.

The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the arrival of Sean Canney and his wife Geraldine to the count centre at Presentation College, Headford.

Number of seats: 3
Electorate: 69,233
Total poll: 42,858
Spoiled votes: 338
Total valid poll: 42,520
Quota: 10,631

FIFTH COUNT
Distribution of Madden’s votes
Sean Canney (Ind) +454 8,785
Louis O’Hara (SF) +792 8,441
Ciaran Cannon (FG) +578 7,114
Pete Roche (FG) +212 6,392
Anne Rabbitte (FF) +178 6,121
Donagh Killilea (FF) +105 5,171
Killilea eliminated.

FOURTH COUNT
Distribution of Reid and Spelman transfers
Sean Canney (Ind) +189 8,331
Louis O’Hara (SF) +355 7,649
Ciaran Cannon (FG) +210 6,536
Pete Roche (FG) +90 6,180
Anne Rabbitte (FF) +123 5,943
Donagh Killilea (FF) +62 5,066
Eoin Madden (GP) +670 2,647
Madden eliminated

THIRD COUNT
Distribution Ward’s votes
Sean Canney (Ind) +248 8,142
Louis O’Hara (SF) +117 7,294
Ciaran Cannon (FG) +19 6,326
Pete Roche (FG) +50 6,090
Anne Rabbitte (FF) +44 5,820
Donagh Killilea (FF) +58 5,004
Eoin Madden (GP) +35 1,977
Peter Reid (Soc Dem) +25 892
Marian Spelman (Lab) +27 890
Reid and Spelman eliminated

SECOND COUNT
Distribution of O’Reilly, MacCanna votes
Sean Canney (Ind) +79 7,894
Louis O’Hara (SF) +69 7,177
Ciaran Cannon (FG) +9 6,307
Pete Roche (FG) +6 6,040
Anne Rabbitte (FF) +14 5,776
Donagh Killilea (FF) +14 4,946
Eoin Madden (GP) +18 1,942
Peter Reid (Soc Dem) +19 867
Marian Spelman (Lab) +18 863
Martin Ward (Aon) +88 670
Ward eliminated.

FIRST COUNT

Sean Canney (Ind): 7,815
Louis O’Hara (SF) 7,108
Ciaran Cannon (FG) 6,298
Pete Roche (FG) 6,034
Anne Rabbitte (FF) 5,762
Donagh Killilea (FF) 4,932
Eoin Madden (GP) 1,924
Peter Reid (Soc Dem) 848
Marian Spelman (Lab) 845
Martin Ward (Aon) 582
David O’Reilly (Ind) 246
Deaglan MacCanna (Ren) 126
O’Reilly, MacCanna eliminated

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Election 2020

Labour fails to make up ground

Stephen Corrigan

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Galway West Labour Party candidate Niall McNelis and his wife Aideen at the Galway West count centre on Monday morning.

On the canvass three weeks ahead of the election, Cllr Níall McNelis told the Galway City Tribune he believed Labour’s time “on the bold step” had come to an end.

But as soon as ballot boxes were opened on Sunday morning, it became apparent that wasn’t the case. In fact, the first preference vote share for Labour in Michael D Higgins’ former constituency had decreased to just 3% – a further decline from the 5% Derek Nolan managed in 2016.

Labour’s hammering wasn’t contained to Galway and it’s clear they haven’t been forgiven for their time in Government with Fine Gael. Nonetheless, Cllr McNelis said he was “devastated” by the result when he visited the count centre on Monday morning.

He’d been eliminated on the fourth count the day before, having received 1,548 first preferences.

“I was at home yesterday – I was devastated, gutted, but I know it’s not personal. The party is in trouble and we’re going to have to look at that. The unions have left us and they’re voting for Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Fine Gael. That was our core vote; we were a workers’ party once upon a time.

“We were the party that fought for marriage equality long before anybody else – the SocDems have taken that mantel off us; the repeal of the 8th Amendment, we were the ones who fought for that,” said Cllr McNelis.

“The Left vote is very, very crowded here in Galway so [Labour is] going to have to regroup and reorganise. I have to explain what Níall does a bit more. The result that we got, people have been ringing me and saying, ‘Níall, we’re sorry, it was Labour and not Níall’.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Election 2020

Down but not out – Crowe considering Seanad bid

Dara Bradley

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Seanad bid: Galway West Fianna Fáil candidate Ollie Crowe during the count.

When one door closes, another opens. That appeared to be the motto of Ollie Crowe, who bowed out of the race in Galway West on the seventh count.

No sooner had the electorate shut the door on his hopes of taking a second seat for Fianna Fáil, the city councillor was contemplating a bid for a seat in the Upper House of the Oireachtas.

“We just came up short; the national trend affected it in the last couple of days. I was delighted to get 5,200 first preferences in my first time standing for Dáil Éireann. I’m disappointed but I feel overall, I revitalised Fianna Fáil in the city and rebuilt the party.

“I’m honoured and humbled that public representatives have asked me to stand for the Seanad and that’s something we’ll discuss over the coming days and weeks and make a decision on that,” he said.

Cllr Crowe told Galway City Tribune that Fianna Fáil made a mistake supporting Fine Gael in ‘Confidence and Supply’ for four years. “We probably stayed in too long – four years is too long. People wanted change, people spoke for change and we were too aligned with the Government.”

He said that a coalition with Sinn Féin “wouldn’t be my preference”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Election 2020

Party unstuck by a green wave of a different hue

Dara Bradley

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Galway West Green Party candidate Pauline O’Reilly with her daughter Cara (9) after she was eliminated.

Pauline O’Reilly’s biggest supporter, her daughter Caragh, cuddled into the Green Party councillor’s side as she gave an interview to the Galway City Tribune at the count centre on Sunday, after being eliminated on the sixth count in Galway West.

The nine-year-old was by her mother’s side last May as well, when Cllr O’Reilly – and two other Galway councillors, Martina O’Connor and Alastair McKinstry – was elected in the local elections on the back of a ‘Green wave’.

Less than a year later, and ger Dáil bid came unstuck by another green wave – green of a Republican tinge.

She was tipped by many political pundits and rival candidates, as the likely beneficiary if Galway West returned two ‘left’ seats. And a TG4 constituency poll the week before voters cast their ballots, confirmed Cllr O’Reilly was bang in contention. But then came the surge for Sinn Féin, which her supporters felt on the doorsteps.

“We knew a week out that I was in trouble; I felt in the last couple of days support had shifted back a bit. I wasn’t shocked when I saw the tallies because I was feeling the worry a week ago and I knew it hadn’t come back sufficiently. Certainly, a lot of younger people, children and teens, were upset at the lack of conversation about climate and the environment but it just wasn’t coming up strongly enough with adults,” she said.

Cllr O’Reilly took 6% of the vote with 3,650 first preferences, an increase of 3.5% compared with Seamus Sheridan in 2016, but she was swamped by Sinn Féin’s rise.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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