Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Local Elections: Greens win big as SF wiped out

by Gary Ibbotson
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The votes have been cast, the ballots have been counted and now the 40 county councillors who will be representing you over the next five years have been decided upon.

Out of the 40 elected candidates 25 were incumbents while 15 were newly elected to the council.

Out of the 15 councillors who did not retain their seat, six did not run while nine contended but failed to receive enough votes.

Former councillors Jennifer Cuffe, Chris Curran, Brian Murphy, Patricia Stewart, Grace Tallon and Alex White did not contend their seats while Kevin Daly, Liam Dockery, Mary Fayne, Pat Hand, Michael Merrigan, Sorcha Nic Cormaic, Shane O’Brien, Dave O’Keeffe and Seamas O’Neill did not retain.

Fine Gael is the largest party in the council with 13 representatives.

They are followed by Fianna Fail with seven, Labour with six, Green Party with six, Non-party candidates with five, Solidarity/People Before Profit with two and Social Democrats with one.

This slightly bucks the nationwide trend with Fianna Fail commanding many council chambers nationwide.

Six Sinn Fein candidates contended the election with none of them winning a seat.

Two Sinn Fein candidates lost their seats – Sorcha Nic Cormaic and Shane O’Brien while four others, Grainne Ferris, Séamus Mac Floinn, Rosie Ní Laoghaire and Shaun Tracey did not elect.

A downward spiral for the party which is echoed in other Dublin constituencies.

It was a bad election for left leaning parties in general with Solidarity/People Before Profit losing one seat and moving from three to two representatives.

Independent seats also declined from eight to five.

Labour lost one seat with former councillors Grace Tallon and Alex White not contending the election while Juliet O’Connell (Dun Laoghaire) taking a seat on the fifth count.

Fine Gael grew their contingent in the council by two seats while Fianna Fail lost one.

Continuing the trend of the ‘Green Wave’ around the country, the Green Party saw the largest growth in the council by gaining four seats – moving from two to six.

Séafra Ó Faoláin, Daniel Dunne, Ossian Smyth, Deirdre Ní Fhlionn, Una Power and Eva Elizabeth Dowling all earning a seat for the Green Party.

In fact, Green Party candidates either toped the poll or were elected on the first count in all six of the Local Electoral Areas (LEA) where they contended.

Deputy leader of the party, Catherine Martin TD said that the party’s breakthrough was “beyond our wildest expectations.”

Bangladeshi-born MBA graduate Kazi Ahmed was a notable success for Fine Gael who campaigned for six hours a day while fasting for Ramadan. He was elected as a councillor for Glencullen-Sandyford on his first time of asking.

Local community activists Michael Fleming (Independent, Glencullen-Sandyford) and Sean McLoughlin (Independent, Dundrum) were also elected at first attempt.

Overall, every ward elected seven members apart from Blackrock and Stillorgan which had six seats on offer.

Among the most dominating of victories was Séafra Ó Faoláin for the Green Party who was elected on the first count and amassed 3,128 votes.

In total, the gender split was extremely close with 21 males and 19 females being elected.

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