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.