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Local Elections: Cobh-based contingent likely to see transfers among each other

Fine Gael councillor Sinead Sheppard in Belvelly near Cobh, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane

The city boundary extension will remove nearly all of Glanmire from the former Glanmire-Cobh municipal district.

All of Glanmire, west of the M8 Cork-Dublin motorway, has been removed from the municipal district and voters there will now elect candidates to represent them in the city council.

The municipal district will also transfer Whites Cross, Kilcully, Kileens and Kerry Pike to control of the City Council.

While some people could argue that Glanmire wasn’t really city-orientated, the same could not be said of those areas which would have far more in common with the city than the county.

Up until now, the municipal district also had control of the Glenville area.

However, Glenville will, from the forthcoming election, be subsumed into the Charleville-Fermoy municipal district council. 

And in a reverse move, Watergrasshill area will relocate into the Cobh district.

The boundary changes will also reduce the municipal district from a seven-seater to six-seater and the majority of those seats are likely to be won by Cobh candidates.

During the last local elections, the people of Cobh voted across the board to elect local candidates.

Only a handful of votes transferred to candidates north of Belvelly Bridge — known as the gateway to Cobh and Great Island.

Transfers could be seen from all candidates in the Great Island area to each other. That resulted in four being elected from that area. 

They were Kieran McCarthy (SF), Claire Cullinane (Ind) who has since passed away, Cathal Rasmussen (Lab) and Sinead Sheppard (FG).

Kieran McCarthy subsequently left Sinn Féin and became an Independent. 

After many years as a local politician, he has decided he will not seek re-election and is expected to concentrate more on his Cork Rebel Tours operation in Cobh which focusses on the town’s War of Independence era.

When Claire Cullinane died unexpectedly, Diarmaid O’Cadhla was co-opted onto the council as her replacement. He has now decided to run in a different electoral area.

Therefore, the logic is that this time out new candidates from the Cobh/Great Island area are likely to take those vacant seats.

Cllr Anthony Barry (FG) seems to have Carrigtwohill to himself and should be elected quite comfortably. 

In the 2014 election, he got 1,583 votes and was elected on the eighth count.

Padraig O’Sullivan, a secondary school teacher who lives in Little Island, also should have that area sown up. 

In 2014, he was elected on the first count with 2,628 votes. However, he has lost the Glanmire area.

FF has chosen Mr O’Sullivan to run in the next general election in the Cork East constituency, which includes the Cobh area, and he has been canvassing heavily in the last few months in a bid for a Dáil seat. 

It’s expected to pay him handsome dividends for the upcoming Local Election.

Kieran McCarthy was also elected on the first count in 2014, getting 2,471 votes and topping the poll. He was elected as a SF representative but later left the party.

McCarthy is popular in Cobh so not all of his votes came from SF supporters. The question is how many were loyal party votes.

The likelihood is that SF, however, will fancy its chances of retaining a seat with Louise Murphy, who is based in Cobh.

The 33-year-old, who works in student accommodation in the city, said she was banking on Cobh transfers circulating in the town.

“I hope Cobh sticks with its own. I hope that plays to my advantage,” she said.

Cllr Cathal Rasmussen will be hoping that he can hold onto his seat for the sake of the Labour Party.

Cllr Cathal Rasmussen of the Labour Party and Philip Leahy, canvassing in Cobh, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane
Cllr Cathal Rasmussen of the Labour Party and Philip Leahy, canvassing in Cobh, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane

Labour was decimated during the last general and local elections. He is now the only sitting Labour councillor in either the city or the county.

Another Cobh-based candidate also hopes the ‘fortress mentality’ will pay off for him.

Ken Curtin, who works as a public affairs consultant, is standing for the Social Democrats. 

He contested the last general election in the Cork East constituency getting 1,386 votes — 2.62% of the total number cast.

“I think there’s a good chance Cobh candidates will get three, if not four, of the seats,” he said.

Sean O’Connor a former county councillor and retired bank employee from Cobh has also decided to run as an Independent.

Another runner, also from the town and an Independent is fishmonger Peter Kidney.


  • Anthony Barry, Midleton (Fine Gael)
  • Ken Curtin, Cobh (Social Democrats)
  • Karen Doyle, Cobh (Independents 4 Change)
  • Peter Kidney, Cobh (Non Party)
  • Louise Murphy, Cobh (Sinn Féin)
  • Alan O’Connor, Carrigtwohill (Green Party)
  • Sean O’Connor, Cobh (Non Party)
  • Pádraig O’Sullivan, Glanmire (Fianna Fáil)
  • Cathal Rasmussen, Cobh (Labour Party)
  • John Paul Reilly, Cobh (Fianna Fáil)
  • Sinéad Sheppard, Cobh (Fine Gael)

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