Local Elections: Kerry County Council results

Members of Healy-Rae family top poll in three electoral areas, with an affiliated candidate elected in another

Members of the Healy-Rae family topped the poll in three of Kerry County Council’s six local electoral areas with an affiliated candidate securing election in a fourth.

Overall, Independents took 12 of the 33 seats on the council (up two) and Fianna Fáil took nine (down one), with Fine Gael on six (down one), Sinn Féin on four (no change) and Labour on two (no change).

Maura Healy-Rae, a daughter of Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae, increased her first-preference vote in Killarney to an astonishing 3,385 – almost double the quota – and was elected on the first count. Her brother Johnny pulled a massive 3,441 first preferences in Kenmare and Jackie Healy-Rae, a son of TD Michael Healy-Rae, came out on top in Castleisland and exceeded the quota by almost 1,000 votes.

In Listowel, Liam “Speedy” Nolan – an Independent backed by the Healy-Raes – was elected on the first count alongside Fine Gael’s Mike Kennelly, who topped the poll. His party colleague Michael Foley was elected on the second count with Fianna Fáil’s Michael Leane and Jimmy Foley and Sinn Féin’s Tom Barry closing out the six-seater.

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In Killarney, the seven sitting councillors, a majority of them Independents, are heading back to their seats in the council chamber. Independent Martin Grady was elected behind Ms Healy-Rae on the first count, with Killarney Independent Alliance candidate John O’Donoghue elected on the second count.

Independent Brendan Cronin and Niall “Botty” O’Callaghan were celebrating later in the count, as were Niall Kelleher (FF) and Labour’s Marie Moloney. Fine Gael failed to make an impact in the seven-seater electoral area.

Immigration was a big issue in Kilarney during the campaign, with a large number of refugees and international protection applicants living in the tourist town. Ms Healy-Rae attributed her succees to a lot of door-to-door canvassing but also to being outspoken, like her father, on immigration, which she said was the single biggest issue on the doorsteps.

Proceedings in Kenmare were something of a marathon, with three candidates elected on the 13th and final count without reaching the quota – Independents Podge Foley and Dan McCarthy and Fine Gael’s Teddy O’Sullivan Casey. Fianna Fáil’s Michael Cahill and Norma Moriarty were elected earlier behind poll-topper Johnny Healy-Rae. Fianna Fáil failed to retain a third seat which was vacated by John Francis Flynn, who did not seek re-election.

One of the biggest surprises of the weekend was Michael D O’Shea (FF), who spent about three decades as a local representative, losing his seat in Corca Dhuibhne. His party colleague Breandán Fitzgerald was elected, as was Tommy Griffin (FG). Sinn Féin picked up a seat through Robert Brosnan.

Castleisland will be represented by Independent Charlie Farrelly, Fianna Fáil’s Fionnán Fitzgerald and Fine Gael’s Bobby O’Connell, who join poll topper Jackie Healy-Rae in the chamber.

In Tralee, a re-count took place on Monday, requested by Independent candidate Thomas McEllistrim, a former Fianna Fáil TD. Fianna Fáil’s Anne O’Sullivan, a first-time candidate, managed to beat him to secure the seventh and final seat.


Castleisland: 4 seats

Corca Dhuibhne: 3 seats

Kenmare: 6 seats

Killarney: 7 seats

Listowel: 6 seats

Tralee: 7 seats

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