Local Elections caught parties off guard with some surprises in DCC

by Dublin Gazette
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With 63 seats available for the taking, Dublin City Council is the largest council in the country.

The count got under way at the RDS on Saturday evening, but the count wasn’t without its controversies.

People Before Profit candidate Peter Dooley confronted Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy on both Saturday and Sunday over his policies.

Cllr Mannix Flynn (Ind) narrowly defeated PBP’s Annette Mooney by just 12 votes following a re-count on the 10th count, leading to him taking the fifth and final seat in the South-East Inner-City ward.

However, in a statement when he was declared victorious, Cllr Flynn said that PBP had “no regard whatsoever for the process of democracy”, and compared the actions of PBP councillors protesting against Minister Murphy as “like the ISIS”.

The Green Wave

This year’s local elections saw a so-called ‘green wave’ across the country, with the capital no exception.

Early exit polls following last Friday’s elections suggested support for the Green Party jumped from 1.4% to a whopping 9% across the country.

Previously, just three Green Party councillors sat on Dublin City Council, with the Greens now holding ten of the available council seats across the 11 wards – more than 15%.

Pembroke’s Hazel Chu became the first councillor elected in Dublin City on Sunday, and also became the first member of the Green Party nationally to be elected, with 4,069 votes – nearly double the required quota for a seat.

Hazel Chu and her mother at the count centre

She took to a popular Facebook group, Ireland Simpsons Fans – where she is a regular contributor – to thank the members for their support in her campaign.

In another Green win, DCC councillor Ciaran Cuffe also secured a seat as one of Dublin’s MEPs in addition to retaining his council seat – which he will have to forfeit upon taking up his MEP role.

Whilst not the largest party in DCC, the rise of the popularity of the Greens cannot be ignored – many have said it was the best local election result in the history of the party.

Sinn Fein Fallout

In this year’s election, Sinn Fein took eight seats in total across the 11 wards. This is a loss of seven seats across DCC, as since 2014 the party has had 15 sitting councillors.

Sinn Fein’s Daithi Doolan secured the most first-preference votes in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh ward, holding 16% of the overall vote for the locale.

In Artane-Whitehall, party colleague Larry O’Toole seized 13.8% of the overall votes for the area, coming second only behind Patricia Roe of the Social Democrats.

Former Lord Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha held 11.69% of the overall vote in Donaghmede, coming third in the count behind Fianna Fail’s Tom Brabazon and Daryl Barron.

Other winners

Independent councillors also managed to snag a decent smattering of seats across the 11 wards, with 10 Independent councillors now sitting on the council.

Several retained their seats from previous terms, including Noeleen Reilly, current Lord Mayor Nial Ring and Cieran Perry.

A notable name to be elected this term is Inner City Helping Homeless chief executive Anthony Flynn, who secured a seat in the North Inner-City ward on the final count.

Securing 11 seats in this election across several wards, Fianna Fail solidified a position as the largest party in DCC, narrowly coming in ahead of the Greens and Fine Gael, who managed to secure nine seats.

Labour also hold eight seats across the council, with Dermot Lacey, Mary Freehill and Joe Costello re-elected.

Five seats were won by Social Democrats in five different wards, including Gary Gannon, who retains his councillor seat following an unsuccessful MEP bid.

Patricia Roe

SOL-PBP took two seats on Dublin City Council, with Hazel de Nortein being re-elected in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh ward, and Tina MacVeigh maintaining her seat in the South West Inner City.

Finally, across the capital’s council areas, there was a relatively equal footing in terms of equality, with the gender split nearly 50/50 in most council areas.

In Dublin City Council, 27 women were elected across the 11 wards’ available 63 seats, representing 42.86% of all councillors elected.

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