Family members may take Cork County Council seats of newly elected TDs

Six seats will have to be filled on Cork County Council as successful general election candidates take up their positions in the Dáil, and there’s little doubt they will be replaced by family members or close friends.
Family members may take Cork County Council seats of newly elected TDs

It’s the largest number of county councillors from Cork elected to Leinster House at any one time, and a seventh may shortly be following them into the Seanad.

Fianna Fáil will have to replace three councillors: Kevin O’Keeffe, Aindrias Moynihan (Cork North West) and Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony (Cork South West.)

Speculation is rife Mr O’Keeffe will be replaced by a family member, although he refused to comment.

It is expected his father Ned O’Keeffe, a TD for 30 years, is likely to prefer another family member watching over the constituency while Kevin is in Dublin. He has two brothers, Pat and Ciaran, and two sisters Lorraine and Deirdre.

It’s very possible a family member will also replace Mr Moynihan on the council. “I would expect a replacement on the county council before the Seanad elections take place in two months’ time,” he said.

He has three brothers and four sisters, all of whom were involved in his impressive poll-topping campaign.

“I haven’t been talking to anybody inside the family or outside it for that matter about the council seat.”

Meanwhile, Ms Murphy-O’Mahony said a few people had expressed an interest. She had not spoken to her family about it.

“The day of that being an automatic assumption [having a family member take over] should be gone. I just want the seat to go to a good home,” she said.

Sinn Féin leader on the council, Cllr Des O’Grady, said the party will decide on nominating its two replacements before the end of March.

Cllr Donnchadh O’Laoghaire, (Cork South Central) and Cllr Pat Buckley (Cork East) were also elected onto the council in 2014.

“A bit of groundwork has been done already and we will be meeting during the week to progress this,” he said.

Independent Michael Collins (Cork South West) did not comment on speculation his brother Danny will replace him. He plans to make a decision by March 14. “Anyone going to take over my seat will have to be 100% independent-minded, whether it be a brother, a 41st cousin or anybody else,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil councillor Frank O’Flynn has been nominated to contest the agricultural panel for the Seanad. “If I’m successful which I hope I am, there will have have to be a co-option to fill my council seat,” he said. “And at this stage I don’t have a clue as to who that will be.”

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