Supporting Local News

Poll-topper Welby is first past the post

The first count of the Connemara North poll has seen Oughterard’s Thomas Welby romp home for the first seat with over 1,700 first preferences in the first result announced for Galway.

This is the fourth time the garage owner has topped the poll, previously taking first place in 2009, 2014 and 2019.

His transfers are likely to benefit fellow Oughterard candidate Seamus Walsh, who ran for Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice’s party, Independent Ireland, after falling out spectacularly with Fianna Fáil over his stance on the arson attack at the Ross Lake Hotel in Rosscahill before it was to be used as accommodation for international protection applicants.

Cllr Walsh got 1,525 first preferences and will likely be elected on the second count.

Fianna Fáil’s sitting councillors in Clifden, Eileen Mannion and Gerry King, a fish farmer from Errislannan, are both expected to keep their seats this four-seater, with counting expected to conclude by this evening.

Cllr King came marginally ahead of Cllr Mannion with 1,435 first preferences, ten more than his colleague.


Connemara North

Four Seats: 4

Electorate: 14,650

Total Poll: 8,051

Spoiled votes: 97

Total Valid Poll: 7,954

Quota: 1,591

Count 1

Breathnach, Críostóir (Ind) 67

Conaire, Maánus Ó (Ind) 905

Geeson, Daniel (Greens) 248

Healy, Tom (Sinn Féin) 591

*King, Gerry (Fianna Fáil) 1,435

*Mannion, Eileen (FG) 1,425

*Walsh, Seamus (Ind Ire) 1,525

*Welby, Thomas (Ind) 1,758


Surplus of 167 to be distributed


Caption: Thomas Welby – the first Councillor elected in the country – being carried shoulder high by his sons-in-law Pete O’Connor and Nath O’Connell after his election the Conamara North Municipal Area for the fourth time in a row. Pic Gerry Stronge

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