#Elections2019: Talks on Cork mayor begin as final seats filled following recount

Talks on who will become the next Lord Mayor of Cork were already underway even as the last two candidates took their seats with just a single vote separating them following a recount.

#Elections2019: Talks on Cork mayor begin as final seats filled following recount

Talks on who will become the next Lord Mayor of Cork were already underway even as the last two candidates took their seats with just a single vote separating them following a recount.

There was speculation that the d'Hondt system, which has seen the chain of office rotate to include independents in recent years, will be abandoned in favour of a return to the pact system, led by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

While the Greens favour d'Hondt, there was speculation that the two main parties will seek to strike a deal with some of the five independents.

The talks were taking place as the final make-up of the council was decided following the conclusion of a recount in the south-central LEA.

It was requested late on Sunday night by Sinn Fein after just 12 votes separated the party's sitting city councillor, Fiona Kerins, and their county councillor, Eoghan Jeffers, and independent Cllr Paudie Dineen after the 11th count.

Almost 10 hours into the recount yesterday, the state of poll after count 12 showed just nine votes between them.

But following the distribution of Sean Martin's surplus, Cllr Dineen moved from 1,058 to 1,069 votes, Kerins jumped from 1,062 to 1,066, with Jeffers gaining three votes to take him to 1,056.

The distribution of Dan Boyle's vote in count 14 was enough to elect Dineen on 1,071 and Kerins on 1,070. Her election left Sinn Fein with four seats - down from eight.

Ms Kerins said: "We didn't want to be in this place, standing against each other but the main thing is we took a seat for Sinn Fein in south central. But we were only 10 votes from taking two seats. We'll build on this next time.

Mr Jeffers said while he was disappointed, the most important was to see a colleague elected.

We have a bigger picture for Irish politics and I'll try and make my was back into that fold, and I have no doubt Fiona will do a fantastic job representing my own community.

The formal result in the LEA was declared a short time later, confirming the election also of Lord Mayor, Cllr Mick Finn, the Green Party's Dan Boyle, Fianna Fáil Cllr Sean Martin, and Fine Gael's Shane O'Callaghan.

The conclusion of the recount means that despite losing two seats over the weekend, Fianna Fáil has retained its position as the largest party on the 31-seat council, with eight seats, while Fine Gael gained two seats to seven.

In the six-seater south-east LEA, former Fine Gael Lord Mayor Cllr Des Cahill, topped the poll with 2,275 first preference votes after the first count, the highest vote in the city.

The remaining five seats were taken by the Green's Lorna Bogue, with 14% of the vote, Fianna Fáil county councillor, Mary Rose Desmond, Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Fianna Fail's Cllr Terry Shannon, and Fine Gael county councillor Deirdre Forde.

Long-serving Sinn Fein Cllr Chris O'Leary was the big casualty here but he is expected to remain active in his community in Mahon.

In the south-west LEA, the largest in the expanded city with seven seats, Togher-based Fianna Fáil Cllr Fergal Dennehy topped the poll to hold his seat with 22 votes to spare over Fine Gael county councillor Derry Canty.

The Greens gained here too with Colette Finn taking a seat, while Sinn Fein Cllr Henry Cremin and Ind Cllr Thomas Maloney held their seats.

Two more Ballincollig-based candidates, Fine Gael's Garret Kelleher and Fianna Fail's Colm Kelleher, complete the line-up as Fine Gael Cllr PJ Hourican lost his seat.

Even though Fianna Fáil lost two seats overall, the party topped the poll in the two LEAs on the northside.

Former Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald topped the poll in the north-west LEA, with party colleague Cllr John Sheehan, SF councillors Thomas Gould and Kenneth Collins, and Solidarity/PBP Cllr Fiona Ryan all retaining their seats with

Blarney-based FG candidate, Damian Boylan, making the breakthrough to take a seat.

Fianna Fáil's Cllr Ken O'Flynn topped the poll in the north-east LEA on the sixth count where long-serving FF Cllr Tim Brosnan was the big casualty.

Worker's Party Cllr Ted Tynan and Fine Gael Cllr Joe Kavanagh held their seats, while the Green's Oliver Moran, Labour's John Maher, and Ind Cllr Ger Keohane, all took seats.

The first meeting of the new council is on June 7.

Cork City Council: 31 seats

Fianna Fáil: 8

Ken O'Flynn

Tony Fitzgerald

Fergal Dennehy

Terry Shannon

Sean Martin

John Sheehan

Colm Kelleher

Mary Rose Desmond

Fine Gael: 7

Des Cahill

Joe Kavanagh

Damian Boylan

Shane O'Callaghan

Deirdre Forde

Derry Canty

Garret Kelleher

Green Party: 4

Lorna Bogue

Dan Boyle

Colette Finn

Oliver Moran

Ind: 5

Mick Finn

Kieran McCarthy

Thomas Maloney

Ger Keohane

Paudie Dineen

SF: 4

Thomas Gould

Kenneth Collins

Henry Cremin

Fiona Kerins

Lab: 1

John Maher

WP: 1

Ted Tynan

Sol/PBP: 1

Fiona Ryan

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