#Elections2019: Fine Gael misses out on Tralee as FF surges

The Kerry local elections have thrown up mixed messages for the main parties.

#Elections2019: Fine Gael misses out on Tralee as FF surges

The Kerry local elections have thrown up mixed messages for the main parties.

Fine Gael will return with just seven candidates, having lost two seats in key areas.

One of the big talking points is the loss in Killarney of the only Fine Gael seat in the tourism capital.

That is despite the fact Killarney is the headquarters of Tourism Minister Brendan Griffin, and party MEP Seán Kelly lives there.

The party failed to get a candidate to run alongside outgoing councillor and mayor John Sheahan who lost narrowly to Labour’s former senator and former councillor Marie Moloney.

Mr Kelly described the loss of the party’s only seat in the tourist town as “a disaster”.

Elsewhere Fine Gael lost a key seat in the Tralee side of the Castleisland area with the exit of former mayor of Kerry Pat McCarthy.

However, there has been a resurgence in Listowel. The party has hugely increased its vote to take three of the six seats there, snatching one from Fianna Fáil.

The party’s share of the vote for Aoife Thornton and Mike Kennelly also massively increased.

Aoife Thornton
Aoife Thornton

Mr Kennelly got 2,064 first preferences while Ms Thornton increased her vote from 1,586 to 2,578 to top the poll.

Fianna Fáil has not done well in Listowel. John Lucid, who replaced party TD John Brassil on the council, failed to get elected as the party lost one of its two seats in Listowel.

But it had a spectacular day out in South Kerry, winning three of the six seats in the Kenmare/Killorglin area.

In Tralee, outgoing Fianna Fáil mayor Norma Foley hugely increased her vote to take the first seat and top the poll, and new candidate Mikey Sheehy was elected.

In Killarney councillor Niall Kelleher doubled his vote to be elected in the second count.

Meanwhile, the performance of the Healy-Raes with three councillors now, all of whom topped the poll, has dented Fianna Fáil’s growing confidence of taking Danny Healy-Rae’s seat.

Sinn Féin lost a seat in Kenmare and again failed to make a breakthrough in Killarney.

It is once again confined to Tralee and north Kerry; in Tralee its third-candidate strategy has failed to pay off.

Three Green candidates, all of whom polled respectably, almost taking a seat in Tralee, has given the party a building block for the general election in Kerry, it said.

    Read more: Local election results 2019

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