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#Elections2019: Kerry’s Healy-Rae dynasty continues

Jackie Healy-Rae, elected on the first count and heading up Kenmare, celebrates with his father, TD Michael, over the weekend.

The extraordinary performance of the Healy-Rae siblings was the story of the weekend at the count centre in Killarney, where Johnny headed up Kenmare and Maura won Killarney minutes later.

Both were declared elected on the first count.

There were other extraordinary stories including the election of a candidate in Killarney who did not once knock on a door or put up a poster.

In Kenmare, Fianna Fáil had a great day out. The area has just six seats, but half in the new council belong to the party. 

Two councillors were elected on the first count — Michael Cahill with 2,219 first preferences and his colleague Norma Moriarty with 1,966.

In Killarney, the majority of the councillors returned are Independent — which may present challenges for deciding who will get the office of mayor each year. 

Fine Gael had a poor day out in Killarney with the outgoing chairman of the municipal district, councillor, John Sheahan, looking likely to lose to Labour’s Marie Moloney.

Independent Niall Botty O’Callaghan ran a virtual campaign — no knocking on doors, no canvassing, and no posters. His virtual knocking on doors paid off handsomely. 

His poll of 1,065 first preferences was ahead of the Fine Gael, Labour, and Sinn Féin candidates as well as the Fianna Fáil second candidate.

Meanwhile, an uncle and his nephew-in-law were both elected to Kerry County Council in the Tralee electoral area.

Voters there returned two Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein, and one Fine Gael, Labour, and Independent candidates to the council.

Voting concluded at 6.45pm with Independent councillor Sam Locke taking the last seat having not reached the quota, pipping the Green Party’s Anne-Marie Fuller to the post by 379 votes.

Earlier, Sinn Féin councillor Pa Daly was re-elected on the 12th count, taking the sixth seat behind Jim Finucane (FG) and Mikey Sheehy Jnr (FF), who were both elected on the 11th count.

Mayor of Kerry Norma Foley topped the poll in Tralee, comfortably exceeding the quota on the first count.

She was followed by Sinn Féin councillor Toireasa Ferris and Labour councillor Terry O’Brien, who was elected on the seventh count.

However, Labour failed to retain a second seat in the Tralee area. 

Maura Healy Rae
Maura Healy Rae

Mr O’Brien said he didn’t know what happened to the Spring vote.

All sitting councillors were returned to Kerry County Council in Tralee. However, two former Tralee councillors, who contested the elections in the new Castleisland electoral area, Tom McEllistrim (FF) and Pat McCarthy (FG), both lost out this time round.

Fine Gael returned three councillors to Kerry County Council in the Listowel Electoral Area.

Sinn Féin bucked national trends, retaining two councillors there — a first election victory for councillor Tom Barry, who was co-opted onto the council to fill the vacancy created when Diane Nolan stood down, and long-serving Robert Beasley, who was also re-elected.

The last three candidates, Tom Barry, Michael Foley (Fine Gael), and Jimmy Moloney (Fianna Fail) were deemed elected without having reached the quota.

It was heartbreak for Fianna Fáil councillor John Lucid, whose elimination at the seventh count paved the way for the others’ election.

This was Mr Lucid’s first time to contest an election. He had been co-opted onto Kerry County Council to fill the vacancy created by John Brassil’s election to the Dáil.

It was a great result for Fine Gael, who returned councillor Aoife Thornton and Mike Kennelly, both elected on the first count having exceeded the quota.

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