Category Archives: 2009 Local Elections


happy new year 2010
Image by mugley via Flickr

What a year! 2009 is approaching its end and its been and up and down year for me.


What a year for me and blogging! It started off great being selected for the first Th!nk about it competition and then that led to other cool projects, again involving European Journalism Centre and the Anna Lindh Foundation. I of course moved the blog .com and its bein great doing that. I have gotten involved with bloggingportal, irishelection and sluggerotoole at various points through out the year. I have met and been contacted by lots of cool people through all this.


Its been an up and down year with work. Loosing my job, like so many others, was a bit of a wake up call, and thankfully I landed on my feet. I know am back in college and have a part-time job. Things really did turn out for the better.


What a year to be involved in Politcs. The Local and European elections were great fun, as was the preceding the Ard Fheis. I learned a lot during the campiagns and look forward to putting that to good use in the coming General Election, whenever that will be. The second Lisbon Referendum was also a great opportunity. Getting involved with Generation Yes, Ireland For Europe and Bloggers for Europe, let to more learning and of course meeting lots of people. It was a great experience. It also got me published in local newspapers!

Personal Life

While 2009 was a great year, it saw a number of deaths for me too. This year I lost a favourite teacher from school, Paddy Mulcahy, and a good friend of mine, Brian Finn. Its right to remember them at this time of year. This year, brought lots of opportunities in my personal life, and I am glad I took them!


So what will next year bring? Who knows, but im looking forward to it!

All thats left to do now, is to wish you all a Happy New Year and best of luck for 2010!

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Limerick County Council 15 out of 16 Elected

Limerick County Council is now under control of a Fine Gael majority. What is one of the amazing things about the elections in Limerick County is that nearly every single on of the Fine Gael Candidates were eleceted in five electoral areas.

Fine Gael now have 15 seats on the council up from 12 seats gaining all three seats from Fianna Fail who now have nine seat. Labour have two seats and Others have two seats, giving Fine Gael a majority of two seats on the Council.

The Elected Fine Gael Cllrs were:

Adare Electoral Area:

  • Leo Walsh
  • Rose Brennan
  • Richard Butlar

Castleconnel Electoral Area:

  • Mary Jackman
  • John Egan
  • Micheal Sheehan
  • Mary Harty

Kilmallock Electoral Area:

  • Mike Houlihan
  • William O’Donnell

Gerald Mitchell who polled 1070 first preferences vote missed out on a seat in this ward coming 6th on first preference votes.

Newcastle Electoral Area:

  • Jerome Scanlon
  • Patrick O’Donovan
  • Liam Galvin

Rathkeale Electoral Area:

  • John Sheehan
  • Stephen Keary
  • David Naughton

Well done to all those in the Fine Gael party in Limerick for getting an excellent result for the party! Congratulations too to the elected councillors, best of luck for the next five years.

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Cork City – Fianna Fail almost halved on Council

Fianna Fail’s representation on Cork City council was almost havled in Fridays Local Elections. They are going from the 11 seats that they won in 2004 to 6 seats this time round.

The loss of a seat in North West was a forgone conclusion as Dave McCarthy who was elected as a Fianna Fail Cllr turned Independent and was easily re-elected. In fact topping the poll with 200 votes over quota. Tony Fitzgerald hung on to his seat at the expense of Fine Gael only saved by his running mate John Sheehan.

In Cork North Central sitting Cllr Damien Wallace lost his seat to Sinn Fein’s Thomas Gould. The other Fianna Fail Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn kept his seat on Wallace’s transfers, but his vote was down on what Gary O’Flynn got for that seat in 2004 by 3.27%.

In Cork North East Fianna Fail’s Tim Brosnan held onto his seat and coming second to Labour’s John Kelleher. There was not a second candidate for any party in this ward as it is a 4 seater.

In Cork South East Fianna Fail ran three candidates. They ran the two sitting Councillors, Donal Couhnihan and Terry Shannon and a new candidate Deridre Foley. Foley and Couhnihan were eliminting bringing in Shannon. Kieran McCarthy, the independent candidate, gained the seat.

In Cork South Central Fianna Fail ran Sean Martin and Tom O’Driscoll, both sitting Councillors. Of the two Sean Martin did best coming 4th on first preferences, 8 votes behind Emmet O’Halloran of Fine Gael. Sean Martin was eventually elected on Tom O’Driscolls elimination. The independent candidate, Mick Finn took the seat instead.

In South East ward there were two sitting Fianna Fail Cllrs, Mary Shields and Fergal Dennehy. Shields was elected on the 3rd count. Her surplus was not large enough to save Dennehy. Henry Cremin of Sinn Fein took the seat from Fianna Fail.

So Fianna Fail is relugated to 3rd party on Cork City Council with the same number of Cllrs as Independents, Socialist and Workers Party. It will be an interesting 5 years on the Council.

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Cork – Mixed results for FG

I attended the majority of the count for the 6 city wards in Cork on Saturday evening and night. The Fine Gael result on the south side was excellent! With us gaining a seat in the South East ward of the city. Unfortunately while the Fine Gael vote was up on the Northside aswell, Joe O’Callaghan lost the seat in the North West which was previously held by Colm Burke.

North West went from a 5 seater to a 4 seater so it was going to be a tough battle for all involved. While Joe did poll in 4th with 805 votes (down from 884 in 04) he was beaten in the last count by Tony Fitzgerald of Fianna Fail on the last count thanks to transfers from his running mate John Sheehan.

The Workers Party gained their first seat on Cork City Council. They won a seat in the North East of the City. The North East count was very interesting as on the 1st count 3 candidates were within a wisker of the quota, which was 1096. They were John Kelleher (Lab -1024), Tim Brosnan (FF – 1019) and Dara Murphy (FG – 1011).

In North Central Patricia Gosch held the seat despite the FG vote been down 2% in the ward. Something needs to be done on the northside of Cork to get FG up where it should be.

The Southside was a different matter. In Cork South East  Des Cahill a first time FG candidate and Laura McGonigle were elected on the first count alongside Labours Dennis O’Flynn. This was a fantastic results which helped to bring Jim Corr in also meaning the Fine Gael gained a seat in the ward.

In South West John Buttimer topped the poll with over 2000 votes. He was nearly the highest vote getter in the city, but he was beaten by Mick Barry of the Socialist Party by 26 votes. Barry Keane polled exceptionally well on First preferences and in fact was leading the Lord Mayor Brian Birmingham on the first count. Unfortunately Buttimers transfers favoured the Lord Mayor and Keane was eliminated, getting the Lord Mayor elected on his transfers. Maybe in five years time we can get the third seat.

In South Central Emmet O’Halloran was elected to the 2nd seat on the 4th count. That was a nail biting wait as on the elimination of Billy MacGill (FG) and Mary Ryder (GP) Emmet needed 250 votes to reach quota, while Mick Finn (Ind) only needed 114 votes. I was sure we were going to get the 3rd seat, but Mick Finn only got 90 transfers, while Emmet got 250 meaning he was bang on quota and was elected! There is hope for a 2nd Fine Gael seat in five years time, and who knows, it could be me running for it 😉

So Fine Gael’s total of 8 seats on Cork City Council remains unchanged and stays the largest party on City Council.

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Election Day reading

Its polling day! The polls are now open so if you haven’t decided who to vote for read some of these posts:

A vote for Labour is a vote for Fianna Fáil –

How to vote to hurt Fianna Fail without helping Sinn Fein. –

Why Vote Fine Gael –

(I’ll update this post as the day goes on)

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Tomorrow, Please Vote Fine Gael number 1.

The upcoming elections give the people of Ireland a chance to say enough is enough. Enough of this Government that wasted the boom, enough of Government that has not delivered, enough of a Government that is ensuring Ireland is one of the last European countries to recover from this Global Recession. As a young unemployed person, I want to see Fianna Fáil out as quickly as possible.

A vote for Fine Gael tomorrow, is only the only the start in getting Fianna Fáil out. To hit Fianna Fáil you need to hit them where it hurts, at the ballot box. That is where Fianna Fáil get there power, from control of local authorities and appointments made through them. June 5th is the starting place.

A vote for Fine Gael will help ensure that Fianna Fáil will not be in the next Government. Labour, if the maths are right, they will go into power with Fianna Fáil like they have done in the past.

Fine Gael is committed to improving Ireland. It is committed to getting people back to work. It is committed to getting rid of waste in the civil service and especially the health service, so that it is efficient and serves the people it is there for.

In the last 12 months the Governments have had two major opportunities to bring the public finances into order and on both occasions missed opportunities to bring about much needed change. But these elections will not change that straight away. We have to wait for a General Election for that.

A vote for Senator Paschal Donohoe in Dublin Central and George Lee in Dublin South will bring the possibility of a General Election closer then you think. Senator Donohoe has shown that is committed to Dublin Central though his work inside and outside the Oireachtas. He has worked hard and will continue to work hard in the Dáil for Dublin Central and Ireland. George Lee brings a wealth of economic experience to Fine Gael and to the Dáil if elected in Dublin South. George consistently warned about the way our economy was headed during the boom years by paying attention to what outside reports were saying, unlike the Government.

Fine Gael has represented Ireland well in the European Parliament. As the largest Irish Party, it has represented us in the European Peoples Party – European Democrats (EPP-ED) grouping in the Parliament. Fine Gael has used its position in the group to ensure Ireland’s position. The five Irish MEP’s are held in high regard both within the Grouping and across the Parliament. Gay Mitchell in Dublin, Mairead McGuinneas and John Paul Phelan in East, Jim Higgins and Joe O’Reilly in North-West and Colm Burke and Sean Kelly in South represent a mix of youth and experience from both within politics and in outside bodies. They are committed to representing us to ensure they get the best for Ireland.

The local elections see a large number of young candidates running for election. From Simon Harris in Greystones to Sinead Shepard in Cobh and many more across the country Fine Gael have encouraged young people to stand up and take part in their communities and play a positive role. This is an opportunity that should be open to all, but Fine Gael actually live up to rhetoric and actually support young people and helps them to make changes in their locality.

Fine Gael is committed to ensuring there is something to leave our younger generations. To encourage them to pick up the mantel, to help in getting Fianna Fáil out of power to ensure there is a bright future ahead.

Tomorrow you can help start that change! Vote Fine Gael

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Cork Evening Echo Poll

The Cork Evening Echo Poll has a poll today conducted by Lansdowne Market Research. The poll has the following party support figures.

  • Fianna Fail – 9%
  • Fine Gael – 23%
  • Labour – 20%
  • Green Party – 4%
  • Sinn Fein – 6%
  • Socialists – 0%
  • Independent/Libertas – 16%
  • No Party/Vote for Personality – 23%
  • Don’t Know – 13%

As you can see Fianna Fail have only 9% of the party support. The personality vote at 23% is quite high and quite typical of Irish Politics. A good lot of that vote will go to Fianna Fail so they will not fair that badly in the the polls as the topline figures suggest.

Im not sure why Libertas was classed with Independent unless it is part of a national poll or a series of further regional polls.

I am surprised that the Socialists  are on 0% as Mick Barry is quite popular on the North Side (or so I thought). This poll of course is for both city and county.

One of the good things is that the intention to vote is running at 80% with 93% of respondents being aware of the elections (for both Europe and Locals).

The main issues highlighted in the poll are Cost of Living (74%), Healthcare (67%) and Job Security (67%). Something we can all agree on.

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Diary of A Serial Canvasser – Part 2

Cork City Hall is illuminated at night, reflec...
Image via Wikipedia

So last since Part 1, I’ve been a very bad canvasser and have only been out two nights. They were April 30th and May 1st. For all of last week I took a break from canvassing as I was sick. But Im all good now and ready to get back into this week!

Back to my last two nights on the cavass though. On the Thursday I was canvassing for Emmet O’Halloran in Ballyphehane, on the road where my Grandmother lives, so I knew a lot of people on the road and even got to canvass my own Grandmother! It was a revealing canvass though as we discovered a lot of former Fianna Fail voters would be voting Labour before Fine Gael. But overall we got a good response with people looking for change and seeing Fine Gael as the alternative.

On Friday I was canvassing for Cllr. Brian Birmingham the current Lord Mayor of Cork. We were canvassing near the Lough in the Cork South West Ward, which is very close to my own home (I live on the border of the constituency). I go caught on quite a few doors discussing Fine Gael and the candidates. Quite a lot of people in the area had a connection to Brian or to Fine Gael so it was an interesting canvass.

This week sees me back to normal:

  • Monday: Emmet O’Halloran – South Central John Buttimer (South West)
  • Tuesday: OFF (Scouts & Eurovision)
  • Wednesday: John Buttimer – South West
  • Thursday: Emmet O’Halloran – South Central (the Evening Echo will be with us too!)
  • Friday: Either Laura McGonigle (South East) or Brian Birmingham (South West). Havent decided yet.

A fun week ahead!

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9 Days Left to Register to Vote

voting day in a small town
Image by Muffet via Flickr

Thanks to Generation Yes on twitter for the reminder that there is only 9 working days remaining to get registered to Vote for the June 5th elections, Local, European and Byelection. Check if you are registered on

Remeber EU Citizens are entitled to vote in the Local and European Elections. Non-EU residents may be eligible to vote in Local Elections depending in their situation.

If you are not registered to vote and have never voted before fill out the RFA2 form (PDF). If you have changed address and have voted before then fill out the RFA3 form.

Do use your vote on June 5th and make a difference to how your locality and your Europe is shaped!

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Diary of a Serial Canvasser – Part One

Jack Straw on the doorstep with local councill...
Image via Wikipedia

I mentioned before how busy I was with canvassing and with tomorrow marking 5 weeks to election day I decided to start a bit of a diary on how the canvass is going.

Lets start with last Wednesday. I went canvassing for Cllr. John Buttimer (South West Ward) in Deenrock in Togher. I would know a few people in the area here through being involved in the Scouts in Togher. It was a mix of a canvass. Some areas of the estate were very much against politicians in general and other parts were very positive towards Fine Gael.  We had a large team out and got a large area canvassed.

Thursday saw no canvassing due to weather.

Last Friday then saw me in Blackrock with Cllr. Laura McGonigle (South East Ward). What a different world compared to Wednesday night. Big houses and a good reaction nearly on every door. A big issue here was dog shit, I kid you not. A good canvass and lots done.

Monday saw me canvassing my own road with Emmet O’Halloran (South Central Ward). This is only the second time I have ever canvassed my own road. The last time was for Jerry Buttimer during the General Election. We got a great response and the majority of the nieghbours were nice to me when they recognised me (They don’t often see me wearing glasses). A great canvass really and very positive towards Fine Gael and Emmet.

Tuesday sees me scouting

Last night I was back in South West Ward with Cllr John Buttimer in the College Road area. We had a good canvass despite the weather, but we had to finish early due to the weather and the match. There are a lot of students in the area and complaints about them featured on many doors. On one road I managed to knock on the door of the Chair of the residents association. That was an interesting conversation I tell you, but she didnt complain about students!

Tonight sees me back in South Central Ward with Emmet and tomorrow night I am out with the Lord Mayor Cllr Brian Birmingham in South West Ward.

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