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Kanturk-Mallow now divided for elections

Fine Gael brothers Tony O’Shea, (left), who is contesting the county elections for Mallow municipal, and John Paul O’Shea, for Kanturk/Charleville municipal, in Kilbrin, north Cork, which is divided. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Mallow electoral area — five seats

Kanturk electoral area — four seats

A single six-seater in 2014, the Kanturk-Mallow municipal district will be two separate electoral areas this time around.

While the single municipal district will remain intact for the purposes of council administration across the hub town of Mallow and the towns of Kanturk, Newmarket and Buttevant, it will be divided in two for the election of councillors in separate contests.

It was divided because there were 7,884 people for every one councillor. The Kanturk–Mallow representational ratio was the highest of any municipal district in the county.

We will go into the detail of the geography later but, for now, what’s important is that nine councillors will be elected across two elections for the district: four from the Kanturk side, in the west, and five from the Mallow side, in the east.

The split will result in a representational ratio of 6,234 people per councillor on the Kanturk side of the municipal district, and 5,831 people per councillor on the Mallow side.

In the Kanturk local election area, Fine Gael secured a coup with the recruitment of the popular Independent councillor, John Paul O’Shea, last year.

O’Shea had entered politics to campaign against rural decline and stunned pundits by coming second in the 2009 local elections in the Mallow area, pulling 12% of first-preference votes.

Since then, he topped the poll five years ago, bagging a seat with almost half a quota to spare and became the first independent councillor to be elected County Mayor.

He will run with party colleague and former TD, Gerard Murphy, in Kanturk, where Fine Gael will hope to hold their two seats in the region and look to Mallow to increase their return.

Lillian Meade, Sinn Fein candidate for the Kanturk local election area.
Lillian Meade, Sinn Fein candidate for the Kanturk local election area.

‘What we have, we hold’ is also the mantra for Fianna Fáil in the area, as it is running just its two sitting councillors in Kanturk.

Bernard Moynihan came second, in terms of first-preferences, in 2014, and got over the line on the second-last count, while running mate, Ian Doyle, faces the intriguing prospect of running in an entirely new area, after his Charleville base was moved from the Fermoy municipal district to Kanturk-Mallow.

Other candidates include Sinn Féin’s Lillian Meade, who will hope to add to the seat the party already holds in the district on the Mallow side and the Green Party’s Ted Bradley.

"Meanwhile Paddy Scully will contest the election for Peadar Tóibín’s new party Aontú and Dr Ado Mazombe, the co-founder of Mallow-based Love and Care for People, is standing as an independent candidate." Outgoing independent councillor, Timmy Collins, meanwhile, announced, at the end of last year, that he would retire from full-time public representation and not contest the election.

The Mallow side, meanwhile, promised the intriguing prospect of the election of at least three first-time county councillors. Incumbents Melissa Mullane (Sinn Féin) and Gearóid Murphy (Fianna Fáil) will look to retain their seats, the latter contesting his first election, having been co-opted two years ago.

Cllr Melissa Mullane, on Main Street, Mallow, Co. Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Cllr Melissa Mullane, on Main Street, Mallow, Co. Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Mr Murphy replaced Daniel Fitzgerald who, in turn, had been co-opted following the death of his father, Dan Joe Fitzgerald. Mr Murphy will be joined on the ticket by local businessman and Mallow chamber president, Pat Hayes. Fine Gael, meanwhile, will run a trio of first-time candidates.

Financial advisor Liam Madden and solicitor Cian Moriarty were selected at convention in February, while Tony O’Shea, the older brother of John Paul, was added by Fine Gael headquarters in March. Former Labour town councillor, James Kennedy, will run for the party in Mallow.

As for the geography, the Kanturk-Mallow municipal district runs from Blackpool and Knockantota, in the south-east, to Knocknagree in the south-west, and from Knockatooan, in the north-west, across to Ardskeagh and Springfort, in the northeast.

A line then divides the district into the Kanturk and Mallow local election areas for the purposes of next week’s vote. It roughly runs from Liscarroll south to Nad, while everything west of that line is in Kanturk, with Mallow in the east.

Compared to 2014, the main changes to the region involve the Millstreet area being moved south to the Macroom local electoral area along, with the townlands of Caherbarnagh, Coomlogane, and Drishane.

Charleville and surrounding areas of Miltown, Newtown, and Rathluirc have, meanwhile, moved from Fermoy to Kanturk. Imphrick and Springfort have relocated to the Mallow electoral area from Fermoy.

In the south of the municipal district, the townlands of Knockantota and Blackpool have moved to Mallow, from Macroom and Cobh, respectively. As a result, Kanturk’s local electoral area boasts a population of 24,935, which will be represented by four councillors.

They will be tasked with the areas of Allow, Ardskeagh, Ballyhoolahan, Banteer, Barleyhill, Barnacurra, Bawncross, Boherboy, Castlemagner, Clonfert East, Clonfert West, Clonmeen, Coolclogh, Crinnaloo, Cullen, Derragh, Doonasleen, Dromina, Glenlara, Greenane, Kanturk, Keale, Kilbrin, Kilcorney, Kilmeen, Knockatooan, Knocknagree, Knocktemple, Meens, Milford, Milltown, Newmarket, Newtown, Rathcool, Rathluirc, Rosnalee, Rowls, Skagh, Springfort, Tullylease, and Williamstown. The new five-seater Mallow local electoral area has a population of 29,157 spread across Ballyclogh, Ballynamona, Blackpool, Buttevant, Caherduggan, Carrig, Castlecor, Churchtown, Dromore, Gortmore, Imphrick, Kilmaclenine, Kilshannig, Knockantota, Liscarroll, Mallow North Urban, Mallow Rural, Mallow South Urban, Nad, Rahan, Roskeen, Templemary, and Tincoora.

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