Its 12 days to polling for the Local and European Elections on May 23rd.
Following the elections in 2009 Fine Gael became the largest party on the Council with 8 seats. They were followed by Labour on 7 and Fianna Fail on 6. Sinn Fein had 4 seats with the Socialist Party and the Workers Party having one each. 4 Independent councillors were elected.
Since that election there has been some changes. Fine Gael now have 9 seats has Joe’O’Callaghan was co-opted to Dave McCathy’s (Ind) seat in Cork North West following his death in April 2011. Chris O’Leary who was elected as an independent in the Cork South East Ward has since joined Sinn Fein bringing them to 5 seats. This has left only two independents on the Council, Mick Finn in Cork South Central and Kieran McCarthy in Cork South East.
Three councillors are retiring this year Jim Corr a Fine Gael Councillor in Cork South East, Brian Birmingham a Fine Gael Councillor in Cork South West and Michael Ahern a Labour Councillor also in Cork South West. All three have had long service on the council.
A total of 65 candidates are running for the 31 seats on Cork City Council. Fine Gael are running 14 candidates across the 6 city wards while Fianna Fail are running 11 candidates. Sinn Fein are running 7 candidates to Labour ‘s 6. The Green party have 3 candidates, Anti Austerity Alliance also have 3. The Workers Party have two candidates while the Communist Party is running only one Candidates. By far the largest number of candidates are Non-Party candidates who number 15 candidates across the city.
Below is a list of all candidates seeking election to Cork City Council in 2014.
One of the recommendations made in the Mahon Report, which is more then likely going to be over looked as most of the media will be looking at the findings against former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and others, is that Regional Authorities be directly elected.
The Tribunal is making this decision due to the role that the Regional Authorities play in Regional Planning Guidelines (RPGs) which has an impact on Local Devlopment Plans and other decisions made by local authorities.
There is not much knowledge of Regional Authorities in Ireland, which were set up under the Local Government Act 1991 and came into existence in 1994. There are eight Regional Authorities in Ireland.
The membership of the Regional Authorities varies between 21 in Mid-East Region to 37 in the Border Region. Currently the members of the Regional Authorities are nominated by the local authorities within the area covered.
An elected Regional Authority would be an important step in increasing local power and would be a good position in between Government and Local Government to negotiate policy for the regions and allow local governments to spend more time on local issues and have support from a Religion Authority.
Hopefully the Government will look at all the recommendations contained in the Mahon Report and not just those in connection with ethics and declarations of donations.
Willie Penrose TD and Minister of State at Department of Environment, Community & Local Government with responsibility for Housing & Planning has resigned from the Cabinet and from the Labour Party. Penrose was a Super Junior Minister meaning he was entitled to attend all Cabinet meetings.
He has resigned over the issue of the closure of Columb Barracks in Mullingar which is within his constituency.
It was regret that I tendered my resignation as Minister of State at the Dept of the Environment today.
Over recent weeks and months, I had made my clear unstinting opposition to proposals to close Columb Barracks in Mullingar, so arising from a decision that was made at cabinet today, I had no alternative but to take this course of action.
I fully appreciate that difficult decisions have to be made by the Govt if we are to get out of the economic mess in which we have found ourselves, but I was not prepared to stand over a decision that was not backed up by the facts and figures.
In the context of collective cabinet responsibility, and given my vociferous opposition to this proposal, I could not continue in Govt, and so have tendered my resignation to the Tanaiste, the Taoiseach and the Labour Whip.
I understand and appreciate that significant efforts were made by my Labour colleagues in Govt, who fully understood the depths of my feelings in this regard, to resolve this matter, but to no avail.
While I will no longer hold the Labour whip, I will continue to serve the people of Longford Westmeath as an active and vocal public representative.
While this will not make much of an difference to Government numbers, it may be a wake up call to Labour Ministers that at the end of the day its their constituencies that matter and with €3.8bn worth of cuts to come, it will be a hard time for them at home.
Sinn Fein City Councillors have placed a motion before Cork City Council calling for a debate on the Queens Visit to Cork. The motion reads
“This Council does not endorse the invitation extended by An tArd Mhéara to the English Queen to visit Cork”.
I expect that the motion will fail.
According to Cllr Mick Nugent
“The actions of the Lord Mayor in extending this invitation without informing the council and allowing its members an opportunity to object were disgraceful. As first citizen he is under an obligation to represent the city, not just his own personal views.
“A visit by the English Queen is premature and insensitive. Large numbers of people in Cork, and across Ireland, find it offensive. Sinn Féin will this evening be asking the council to dissociate itself from the Lord Mayor’s invitation to her to visit Cork,”
I am amazed that they call her the “English Queen” when in fact that she is Queen of Great Britian and Northern Ireland so would not “British Queen” be more accurate?
I for one am in favour of Her Majesties visit to Cork. It is high time we put the issues of the past behind us and welcome the Head of State of our nearest neighbour to this fine city of ours.
It will be interesting to see how this goes at council tonight.
The news broke this morning of the death of North Side Cllr David McCarthy. He was suffering from cancer and died this morning. He was first elected in 1985.
In 1997 he held the office of Lord Mayor of Cork.
In 1999 he topped the poll for Fianna Fail with 933 votes and in 2004 he increased his vote to 1,112 votes.
In 2007 his stood as an independent candidate in the Dáil election gaining a respectable 2,492 votes.
In 2009 he topped the poll as independent with 1,149.
In 2003 he received an award for bravery when he rescued two men from the river Lee. Cllr McCarthy heard cries for assistance as he left a meeting at Cork College of Commerce. He climbed down the river wall and held the two men afloat for 20 minutes.
The Evening Echo* did a Freedom of Information on the amount claimed by Councillors on Cork City Council to attend conferences since they were elected. The expenses over the last 15 months are:
Kenneth O’Flynn (FF) €14,333.86
Denis O’Flynn (Lab) €13,546.24
Sean Martin (FF) €12,418.20
Michael Ahern (Lab) €11,467.09
Pat Gosch (FG) € 8,889.10
Tim Brosnan (FF) €8,786.78
Terry Shannon (FF) €8,742.72
Michael O’Connell (Lab) €8,518.03
Brian Birmingham (FG) €8,168.55
Mary Shields (FF) €8,101.50
Dara Murphy (FG) €8,051.92
Catherine Clancy (Lab) €7,387.55
John Kelleher (Lab) €6,497.33
Emmet O’Halloran (FG) €6,307.58
Laura McGonigle (FG) €5,221.71
Lorraine Kingston (Lab) €5,026.99
Dave McCarthy (Ind) €4,936.75
Tony Fitzgerald (FF) €3,236.30
Ger Gibbons (Lab) €1,939.27
Jim Corr (FG) €1,888.34
John Buttimer (FG) €1,883.83
Donal Counihan (Former FF Councillor) €677.40
Des Cahill €459.53
There were no expenses claimed by:
Ted Tynan, WP
Mick Finn, Ind
Mick Barry, SP
Kieran McCathy, Ind
Chris O’Leary, SF
Fiona Kerins, SF
Jonathan O’Brien, SF
Thomas Gould, SF
Henry Cremin, SF
While Des Cahill does sneak in at the end of the table he repaid part of his expenses as he did not stay overnight. He repaid €339.53, meaning he only claimed €120.
This highlights a flaw in the system. Councillors are able to claim the expenses before they go to a conference. This should not be the case. All expenses should only be payable on proof of attendance and with receipts.
I was glad to see only two Fine Gael Councillors in the top 10, it shows that they are trying to keep the expenses down.
* A number of changes were made to the table as it was published in the Evening Echo. They list Cllr. Dave McCarthy as being a member of Fianna Fail, he was elected as an Independent in 2009 and has not rejoined the party. Also the positions of John Buttimer and Jim Corr have been reversed as Jim’s expenses were higher then John’s.
So what do three of the above have in common at the moment? To me they represent why Fianna Fail is no longer fit to govern.
O’Dea lied under oath, and was forced to resign.
Coughlan thinks young people emigrate for fun and theres the whole Hanger 6 debacle
Ahern was cheerleader in chief for O’Dea and he is the Justice Minister!
This government is beyond itself. It is out of ideas. It has no idea what it should be doing. Of all the cabinet Ministers, the only one I think that is trying to do their job is Brian Lenihan. While I dislike the idea of NAMA, at least he is trying to do something to fix the country, none of the other ministers are!
We have a government where a minister can be brought down by a tweet. Two parties desperate to stay in power because one will be out of power and the other will possibly be wiped out at the polls.
The government has gone stale, Cowen has the opportunity now to embark a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle with his only constraint being the Green Party. What they want, only they know, though the Evening Echo is suggesting that Dan ‘tweet’ Boyle could be elevated to Cabinet.
Where does that leave the rest of us. Well there is the possibility of the Dublin Mayoral Election this year, through which Dublin residents can tell FF and Green Party what they think of them. You will have the Dublin South By-Election (2 years in a row, is that a first?) and you also have the Donegal South-West Bye-Election. Of course there will also be the Childrens Rights Referendum, but the popularity of the Government won’t come into that, hopefully! Then next year you have the Presidential Election.
I dont think FF or the Greens are going to do well in any of the upcoming elections. Dublin South is more then likely going to go Labour, Donegal South-West is probably going to Sinn Fein (I’m sticking to my prediction!), and the Dublin Mayoral election will probably go to Labour on Fine Gael transfers (just like the 1990 Presidential Election!).
Unless the Government gets its act together it will go from crisis to crisis as it is now. It seems to just get over one thing when something else crops up. They need to think quick, the boom is long and Ireland needs solutions now.
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!
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!
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:
Castleconnel Electoral Area:
Kilmallock Electoral Area:
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:
Rathkeale Electoral Area:
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.
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.