Local Elections: Mayo County Council results

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael lose seats but still take 20 between them as Aontú makes a breakthrough in the county

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael lost seats on Mayo County Council but with 10 councillors each they are expected to enter talks about how to control of the local authority over the next five years.

Aontú and Independent Ireland secured their first seats here in this year’s local election, while non-party candidates won seven seats. Sinn Féin would have expected to have a stronger showing but came away with just one councillor, the incumbent Gerry Murray in Swinford.

One of the main talking points of the count came in Swinford, where Mr Murray’s party colleague John Sheahan lost out by a single vote to Fine Gael’s Neil Cruise. Two recounts took place on Monday, both neither changed the tiny margin between the candidates. Mr Sheahan had 1,636 votes and Mr Cruise had 1,637. Fianna Fáil duo John Caulfield and Adrian Forkan were elected with 1,643 and 1,668 votes respectively.

Fianna Fáil’s Martin McLoughlin lost his seat in Castlebar to Independent Harry Barrett, who battled with Stephen Kerr to be the last man in. Mr Kerr, who is outspoken on immigration, received 156 more first preferences but Mr Barrett proved more transfer friendly, moving clear on 14th and final count at around 8am on Sunday morning.

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Fine Gael held its three seats in Castlebar with Ger Deere, Donna Sheridan and Cyril Burke all re-elected. Fianna Fáil’s Blackie Gavin and Al McDonnell were returned, as was Independent Michael Kilcoyne.

In Claremorris, Independent Patsy O’Brien was elected on the first count with a surplus of 785. Fellow Independent Richard Finn soon followed and Fianna Fáil’s Damien Ryan retained his seat. Fine Gael’s Alma Gallagher was successful in taking over the seat vacated by the retiring John Cribbin while Michael Burke (FG) was returned. Knock-based schoolteacher Paul Lawless gave Aontú an electoral breakthrough in Co Mayo.

In the four-seat Westport electoral area, a concerted effort around Louisburgh resulted in Independent Ireland’s Chris Maxwell being elected at the expense of Independent Christy Hyland. Fine Gael’s two candidate strategy paid dividends as Peter Flynn secured election, transferring well from his eliminated colleague Keira Keogh. Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Mulroy and Independent John O’Malley retained their seats.

There is no change in Belmullet, where the three incumbents – Fianna Fáil’s Paul McNamara and Sean Carey and Fine Gael veteran Gerry Coyle – were returned.

In Ballina, Independent Mark Duffy and Fine Gael’s John O’Hara were elected on the first count. Fianna Fáil duo Annie May Reape and Michael Loftus later secured election, as did Fine Gael’s Jarlath Munnelly and first-time Independent candidate Joe Faughnan, who successfully took over the seat from his retiring Knockmore neighbour Seamus Weir.


Ballina: 6 seats

Belmullet: 3 seats

Castlebar: 7 seats

Claremorris: 6 seats

Swinford: 4 seats

Westport: 4 seats

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