There were plenty of shocks at the Tipperary County Council count in Thurles this Saturday, with the tallies showing there will be some high profile losers.
Among those likely to miss out on seats are current North Tipperary Mayor Cllr Ger Darcy of FG, with Labour’s Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, deputy Mayor, also likely to go. In the Thurles area, Labour’s long standing Cllr John Kennedy has definitely lost his seat, as has Cllr Seanie Lonergan in Clonmel.
The big winners will be Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and Independents, with FF looking at three seats in Nenagh / Newport and possibly four in Templemore / Thurles. Sinn Fein could add a seat in the Templemore / Thurles area.
With the quota looking at being around 1,850 in both areas, Michael Smith looks set to top the poll in Templemore / Thurles with 13.9 per cent of the vote after 75 per cent of the boxes were opened. He is likely to be joined on the new council by by party colleagues Cllr Seamus Hanafin, Cllr John Hogan and newcomer Jackie Cahill.
Others looking set to take a seat are Thurles town councillor David Doran, SF, Cllr Micheal Lowry, Willie Kennedy, Cllr Joe Bourke and Cllr Jim Ryan, Ind.
It’s a straight swap for the Lowry team here with Willie Kennedy reclaiming his seat and Cllr Eddie Moran losing out.
Many will be surprised that FG failed to deliver a Thurles councillor, with Templemore’s town councillor Joe Bourke looking like the only FG seat.
In the Nenagh area, Cllr Seamus Morris is likely to top the poll with 9.8 per cent of the vote, followed by FF’s Cllr Mattie Ryan “Coole” on 8.1 per cent. After an early struggle, Cllr John Carroll picked up a huge vote around Newtown to secure his return, with Cllr Michael O’Meara also rallying to look like taking the fifth seat.
Newcomer Fiona Bonfield, a cousin of Junior Minister Alan Kelly, is in line to take a seat out of Newport / Ballina, leaving sitting Labour councillor Virginia O’Dowd to miss out.
Although the pary is on 14 per cent of the overall vote, Labour may have run too many candidates, with Cllr Lalor McGee and Operation Transformation star Gregg Starr also set to miss a seat.
One of the big talking points is how well first timer Joe Hannigan is polling, at 7.3 per cent. The GAA county football chairman’s native Kilbarron boxes remain unopened at present and they should prove a huge boost to him.
Nenagh town may end up with just one councillor in Cllr Seamus Morris, but that could change if Cllr Hughie McGrath can get ahead of Tom Berkery, with the former FG man holding on for the ifnal seat at the moment. There were only six votes separating them with just under 80 per cent of the boxes open.
The line up for Nenagh is looking like: Cllr Seamus Morris, Cllr Matie Ryan “Coole”, Cllr John Carroll, Joe Hannigan, Cllr Michael O’Meara, Cllr Phyll Bugler, Fiona Bonfield, Cllr John “Rocky McGrath”, Tom Berkery or Cllr Hughie McGrath.