Coughlan Tops the Poll Following Steller Performance:
Writes Leo McMahon and Ciaran Dineen
Fianna Fáil’s Gillian Coughlan stole the show as counting began in Clonakilty for the Bandon-Kinsale MD in the 2019 Local Elections. Overall, Fine Gael won three seats, Fianna Fáil finished with two and Alan Coleman – Independent, makes up the six seats that were up for grabs.
Poll topper Gillian Coughlan (FF)and Alan Coleman (Ind) were re-elected on the first count, receiving 18.7% and 15.9% respectively. Kevin Murphy (Fine Gael) was re-elected after count 8. John O’Sullivan (FG), Sean O’Donovan (FF) and Marie O’Sullivan (FG) were elected after final count just after 7pm on Sunday without reaching the quota.
Sinn Fein’s vote decimation around the country was replicated in Kinsale-Bandon, with Noel Harrington (SF) receiving just 376 votes on the first count. It is very likely that there was a significant transfer of votes from Sinn Féin to the Green Party in the ballot box on Friday 24th May, with Gordan Reid (Gr) performing extremely well, surfing the green wave in the process of picking up 873 votes on the first count.
Bandon’s Coughlan, who was co-opted onto the Council back in 2016, saw her hard work since then vindicated, as she romped home to victory, finishing with over 600 votes above the quota. Following closely behind was Alan Coleman (Ind), who was seeking his first re-election as an Independent candidate. Councillor Coleman clearly demonstrated that years of community engagement in the Eastern part of the ward was more than enough to see him exceed the quota on the first count, suggesting that party politics is by no means the be all and end all of local representation.
Kevin Murphy and John O’Sullivan both initially polled very well as Fine Gael candidates, while County Council Election newcomers Marie O’Sullivan (FG) and Seán O’Donovan (FF), were also in prime positions to take seats. Councillor Coughlan’s transferable votes went very favourably to running mates O’Donovan and Dermot Brennan, but the latter did not receive enough first preferences to contest for a spot on the Council.
Gordan Reid, Gerard Seaman (FG) and Pat O’Regan (Ind) will all be happy with their own personal performances, as they battled it out amongst themselves for 7th position. The Green’s Reid could have given O’Donovan and O’Sullivan a better fight for the last seat, but in a trend seen nationally, Green candidates were not as transfer friendly as they might have hoped. Ultimately the elimination of Seaman, following the election of Murphy on Count 8, put a huge gap between Reid and the rest of the field, and on Count 9 John O’Sullivan, Marie O’Sullivan and Seán O’Donovan were all elected under the quota. The first meeting of the new Council will take place in just a few weeks’ time.