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Ex-Fine Gael TD loses out but party take three seats in Macroom

Ex-Fine Gael TD Áine Collins

Ex-Fine Gael TD Áine Collins lost out on the final seat in the Macroom area as two party colleagues, Eileen Lynch and Ted Lucey completed a FG hatrick in the six-seater.

The remaining seats in the Cork County Council election were won by FF (2) and Independent Martin Coughlan.

An ex-Labour county mayor, Mr Coughlan lost his seat five years ago.

Mr Coughlan said he had reservations about returning to politics but friends convinced him on the condition that he would run as non-party.

"In 2014, local councillors took the rap for the party at national level and suffered the doorstep abuse," he said.

"In the last eight weeks, we knocked on 5,500 doors and waited 'til we got an answer and the response was so different," said the 68-year-old who is a long-serving community activist in organisations such as Macroom Tidy Towns.

The added joy for him, he said, was his 18-year-old granddaughter Michaela Riordan cast her first-ever vote and it was for 'granddad'.

Meanwhile, Michael Creed, a namesake of the agri-minister, topped the poll for Fine Gael and was elected on the first count with FF's Gobnait Moynihan.

With three FG councillors elected, former party TD Aine Collins, however, failed to take a seat.

Fianna Fail took a second seat in the new-look Macroom electoral area with mechanic Michael Looney (63) winning in his first campaign.

An experienced party canvasser, he said: "Politics is nothing new to me but being a candidate is. An opportunity came along and I took it, I'm absolutely delighted," said the Berrings father-of-two.

Meanwhile, explaining his winning formula, poll-topper Cllr Creed (60) said the tools of social media had played no part in his success: "You don't win seats by promoting yourself on facebook and tweeting for five weeks before an election, it's the five years' work you do on the ground beforehand!"

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