The formal pact that existed in Bundoran Town Council between Fianna Fail, Sinn Féin and one Independent Councillor for the last year was in imminent danger on Tuesday evening when Sinn Féin Cllr. Sean Carthy defeated Cllr. Sean McEniff in an election for the Vice Chair of the town.
In the election for Mayor of the town Cllr. Phillip McGlynn was elected Mayor with no other nominations being received. Cllr. McGlynn was first elected to the Town Council in 2004 and previously held the position of Mayor in 2008.
In the election for Leas Cathaoirleach it was expected that the formal pact between the opposition parties would hold firm but when Cllr. Sean Carthy was proposed by Cllr. Florence Doherty and seconded by Cllr. Dermot Doherty it was evident that a surprise result was in the making.
A show of hands was called for but Cllr. Sean McEniff called for a recorded vote which was accepted by the councillors present.
Cllrs. Dermot Doherty, Florence Doherty, Sean Carthy and Michael McMahon voted in favour of the Sinn Féin candidate Cllr. Carthy while the Fianna Fail Councillors Elizabeth McIntyre, Sean McEniff and Phillip McGlynn all voting in favour of Cllr. McEniff.
Fine Gael Cllr. Eamonn Barret was absent from the meeting while his colleague Cllr. Denise Connolly abstained from the vote.
One councillor who preferred not to be named remarked to this newspaper that if the same voting strategy had been employed for the position of Mayor, it would have been a ‘Sinn Féin Mayor in the chair.’
Cllr. Carthy who will now occupy the Deputy Mayor position for the second consecutive year told the Donegal Democrat that he was honoured to be re - elected to the position and said that it vindicated the strength of Sinn Féin in the polls and vowed to continue his work for the overall good of the town.
Cllr. Sean McEniff told this newspaper, “This is my very first defeat at council level but I wish Sean well - he is a hard worker and will always put Bundoran first.
“I, however, am not going away and will continue to push for Bundoran at the highest level.”
There was intense speculation after the meeting that the pact that had successfully existed for the past year may now be at an end and even suggestions that both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail may form a new pact.