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Election 2020

Roscommon-Galway RESULT: Fitzmaurice, Naughten and Kerrane elected

Denise McNamara

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Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane made history in the Roscommon-Galway constituency by becoming the first TD from the party to be elected for over a century.

She was elected on the sixth count without reaching the quota, ending on 10,545 votes after getting 463 transfers from Denis Naughten’s surplus. She finished 1,300 votes ahead of outgoing Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy.

That completes the count for the constituency, with two Independents, Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten elected – the latter in darkness at 2am during a power cut.

In 1917 George Noble Plunkett won a by-election in North Roscommon for Sinn Féin as an MP, the first time the party won a seat in Westminster.

Her win means that the constituency continues its contrarian streak – it is the first occasion since the foundation of the State that neither Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael did not take a seat. The county is famous for never returning the same politicians, always choosing at least one new candidate.

She will be only the second woman ever to win a seat in Roscommon and the first since Joan Burke who served for 17 years until her retirement in 1981.

Aged just 27, the native of Castlerea is a NUI Galway politics graduate and a qualified teacher who is employed by the party as a political adviser on employment affairs, social protection and pensions.

In the 2016 election, she polled over 3,000 first preferences.

“I’m over the moon, delighted. We have been building this constituency for the last four years in particular. We have worked hard, and I think the party nationally with Mary Lou at the helm has done really well. It’s a great day. It’s a historic day for Ireland in the Republic,” she exclaimed, after her election on count five.

“I think the appetite for change was just immense. The attitude at the doors compared to 2016 was totally different. You had FF or FG voter who were voting for “Sinn Fein for the first time.

“They were giving us a chance, and that was what the whole election was about. Sinn Féin never had a chance, but it has been given to us today. We have to meet and sit down and hopefully put together a programme for government, hopefully with others from the left.

“Our objective is to deliver what we have put forward in this election. I think Mary Lou seems fairly adamant that we will go into government and I think everyone in the party they know the only way to deliver is to get into government.

“We’ll be there, and we’ll be willing to speak to anybody to make that happen.”

Number of seats: 3
Electorate: 69,598
Spoiled votes: 330
Total valid poll: 45,612
Quota: 11,404

SIXTH COUNT
Fitzmaurice, Michael (Ind) Elected
Naughten, Denis (Ind) 8,422 +635 9057 +362 9419 + 1447 10,866 +3817 14,683 Elected
Kerrane, Clare (SF) 8,003 +319 8322 +368 8690 +712 9402 +680 10,082 + 463 10,545
Dolan, Aisling (FG) 5,466 +169 5635 +75 5710 +452 6162 + 1146 9204
Murphy Eugene (FF) 4,945 +256 5201 +180 5381 +1861 7242 +816 8058
Leyden, Orla (FF) 2,953 +171 3124 +73 3197 Eliminated
O’Donoghue, Julie (GP) 1,413 +32 1445 +165 1610 Eliminated
Hope, James (Aontu) 504 +38 542 Eliminated
Tynan, Kieran (SPBP) 422 +20 442 Eliminated
Hanley, Paul (National Party) 319 +12 331 Eliminated
Fallon, Thomas D (Ind) 88 +21 109 – Eliminated

Clare Kerrane elected without reaching the quota.

FIFTH COUNT
Fitzmaurice, Michael (Ind) Elected
Naughten, Denis (Ind) 8,422 +635 9057 +362 9419 + 1447 10,866 +3817 14,683
Kerrane, Clare (SF) 8,003 +319 8322 +368 8690 +712 9402 +680 10,082
Dolan, Aisling (FG) 5,466 +169 5635 +75 5710 +452 6162
Murphy Eugene (FF) 4,945 +256 5201 +180 5381 +1861 7242 +816 8058
Leyden, Orla (FF) 2,953 +171 3124 +73 3197 Eliminated
O’Donoghue, Julie (GP) 1,413 +32 1445 +165 1610 Eliminated
Hope, James (Aontu) 504 +38 542 Eliminated
Tynan, Kieran (SPBP) 422 +20 442 Eliminated
Hanley, Paul (National Party) 319 +12 331 Eliminated
Fallon, Thomas D (Ind) 88 +21 109 – Eliminated

Denis Naughten takes the second seat elected.
Distribution of Naughten’s surplus of 3,279 votes.

FOURTH COUNT
Fitzmaurice, Michael (Ind) Elected
Naughten, Denis (Ind) 8,422 +635 9057 +362 9419 + 1447 10,866
Kerrane, Clare (SF) 8,003 +319 8322 +368 8690 +712 9402
Dolan, Aisling (FG) 5,466 +169 5635 +75 5710 +452 6162
Murphy Eugene (FF) 4,945 +256 5201 +180 5381 +1861 7242
Leyden, Orla (FF) 2,953 +171 3124 +73 3197 Eliminated
O’Donoghue, Julie (GP) 1,413 +32 1445 +165 1610 Eliminated
Hope, James (Aontu) 504 +38 542 Eliminated
Tynan, Kieran (SPBP) 422 +20 442 Eliminated
Hanley, Paul (National Party) 319 +12 331 Eliminated
Fallon, Thomas D (Ind) 88 +21 109 – Eliminated

Nobody deemed elected. Eliminated Aisling Dolan.

THIRD COUNT
Fitzmaurice, Michael (Ind) Elected
Naughten, Denis (Ind) 8,422 +635 9057 +362 9419
Kerrane, Clare (SF) 8,003 +319 8322 +368 8690
Dolan, Aisling (FG) 5,466 +169 5635 +75 5710
Murphy Eugene (FF) 4,945 +256 5201 +180 5381
Leyden, Orla (FF) 2,953 +171 3124 +73 3197
O’Donoghue, Julie (GP) 1,413 +32 1445 +165 1610
Hope, James (Aontu) 504 +38 542 Eliminated
Tynan, Kieran (SPBP) 422 +20 442 Eliminated
Hanley, Paul (National Party) 319 +12 331 Eliminated
Fallon, Thomas D (Ind) 88 +21 109 – Eliminated

Nobody deemed elected. Eliminated O’Donoghue and Leyden.

SECOND COUNT
Fitzmaurice, Michael (Ind) 13,077 Elected
Naughten, Denis (Ind) 8,422 +635 9057
Kerrane, Clare (SF) 8,003 +319 8322
Dolan, Aisling (FG) 5,466 +169 5635
Murphy Eugene (FF) 4,945 +256 5201
Leyden, Orla (FF) 2,953 +171 3124
O’Donoghue, Julie (GP) 1,413 +32 1445
Hope, James (Aontu) 504 +38 542
Tynan, Kieran (SPBP) 422 +20 442
Hanley, Paul (National Party) 319 +12 331
Fallon, Thomas D (Ind) 88 +21 109

Eliminated Fallon, Hanley, Hope and Tynan

FIRST COUNT
Fitzmaurice, Michael (Ind) 13,077
Naughten, Denis (Ind) 8,422
Kerrane, Clare (SF) 8,003
Dolan, Aisling (FG) 5,466
Murphy Eugene (FF) 4,945
Leyden, Orla (FF) 2,953
O’Donoghue, Julie (GP) 1,413
Hope, James (Aontu) 504
Tynan, Kieran (SPBP) 422
Hanley, Paul (National Party) 319
Fallon, Thomas D (Ind) 88

Fitzmaurice re-elected on the first count.
Fitzmaurice’s surplus of 1,673 to be distributed.

 

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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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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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