Election 2019 home

Macroom area remains a six-seater but areas added to municipal district.

Gobnait Moynihan, Fianna Fáil, with her brother Aindrias Moynihan TD, canvassing in Macroom. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

The population of the Macroom electoral area is 36,844 and, despite the removal of Blarney from the district into the city jurisdiction, the number of seats up for grabs there will remain at six.

But there have been areas added to the municipal district.

Previously called the Blarney-Macroom Municipal District, it is now Macroom Municipal District due to the transfer of Blarney and much of its hinterland to the administrative area of Cork City Council.

  • The main changes to its boundary are:

  • To the north, Millstreet and its environs have transferred from the Mallow district to Macroom which also includes Caherbarnagh, Coomlogane, and Drishane;
  • To the northeast, the electoral district of Knockantota is reportedly more naturally aligned to Mallow and has been transferred from Macroom to Mallow district;
  • To the southwest, the Múscraí Gaeltacht was previously split across the West Cork and Blarney-Macroom municipal districts;
  • From now on, Ballingeary (Béal Atha’n Ghaorthaidh), Bealock, Carrigboy, and Terelton will all transfer from the West Cork district to the Macroom district, reuniting the previously divided gaeltacht communities of Ballingeary and Inchigeela;
  • Some areas to the north and northwest of Bandon, which were previously part of the Macroom district, have been transferred to the Bandon-Kinsale district. They are Murragh, Templemartin, Brinny, Knockavilly, and Ballymurphy.

Meanwhile, among the 13 candidates, four are Fine Gael, three are Fianna Fáil, and three are non-party with Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, and Aontú having one candidate each.

Áine Collins, a former Fine Gael TD, is returning to politics and being the only candidate from Millstreet should have a solid vote to keep her in the running and bring her to County Hall.

However, she admits to not counting her chickens and, while hopeful of securing around 75% of the local vote, will have to rely on transfers from further afield.

Ms Collins, who served from 2011 to 2016 in Leinster House, said:

People think it will be easy being a former TD but it won’t be

Gaeltacht-based councillor Gobnait Moynihan (FF), co-opted to replace her brother Aindrias when he won a Dáil seat at the last general election, is effectively fighting her first election.

But with politics in the blood and well used to the canvass with her father Donal being a TD between 1982 and 2007, it would be unthinkable if she didn’t top the poll or come near to it. Overall, the Moynihan family has one of the longest political associations with Cork County Council.

Meanwhile, the same could be said of outgoing councillor Michael Creed (FG), whose namesake cousin is the minister for agriculture, food and the marine, with the Creed family having a long association with both local and national politics.

Fine Gael councillor Ted Lucey, also from Macroom, is confident of being returned but, on his home patch, may have to deal with the return to local politics of former county mayor Martin Coughlan, a long-standing community worker running under the independent non-party ticket.

Meanwhile, outgoing councillor Bob Ryan (FF), a former high-ranking member of the GAA’s Cork County Board, has decided not to contest the election.

Michael Looney, a mechanic from Berrings, is a first- time Fianna Fáil candidate who will be hoping to take over Mr Ryan’s mantle, especially as he has a large rural hinterland from which to draw votes.

Eileen Lynch, a solicitor from Donoughmore, is running for Fine Gael. Also a first-time candidate, she will be hoping to also draw on a largely rural area for votes and the bookies wouldn’t rule out the possibility that she could make it three seats for her party.

New party Aontú is also putting forward a solicitor, PJ Feeney from Dripsey. Sinn Féin is fielding councillor Ronnie Morley who was co-opted in January to replace the party’s leader in County Hall, Des O’Grady, who had announced his retirement from local politics.

Mr O’Grady polled well in 2014, being elected as the third councillor on the fifth count with 2,639 votes, many of which were possibly a solid personal vote.

While Mr Morley had little time to establish himself going into his first election, there’s no doubt the party machine that served Mr O’Grady well will deliver its Coachford-based councillor to County Hall.

With the Social Democrats fielding a number of candidates in many of the electoral areas, Clondrohid-based Síle Ní Dhubhghaill, a musician, music teacher, and the owner and founder of the Lee Valley Academy of Music in Macroom, is the standard bearer in the municipal district.

She is one of a number of candidates, including non-party hopeful Mary O’Callaghan Hallissey, relying on support from the Macroom area.

Candidates

■ Áine Collins (Fine Gael)

■ Martin Coughlan (Non-Party)

■ Michael Creed (Fine Gael)

■ Nigel Dennehy (Non-Party)

■ PJ Feeney (Aontú)

■ Jason Fitzgerald (FF)

■ Michael Looney (Fianna Fáil)

■ Ted Lucey (Fine Gael)

■ Eileen Lynch (Fine Gael)

■ Ronnie Morley (Sinn Féin)

■ Gobnaít Moynihan (FF)

■ Síle Ní Dhubhghaill (Soc-Dems)

■ Mary O’Callaghan Hallissey (Non-Party)

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