Tally figures show Sinn Féin Cllr. Gary Doherty topping the poll in the Stranorlar Electoral Area, with 1,920 first-preference votes.
The tallies from Saturday’s sorting of local and European ballots would indicate that Cllr. Doherty and independent Cllr. Frank McBrearty Jr will take the first two council seats in the Stranorlar area.
By Carolyn Farrar
Tallies would also suggest that Cllr. Doherty’s surplus could bring his party colleague, Liam Doherty, over the quota, which is believed to be somewhat more than 1,400.
It should be remembered that tally figures can differ from one source to another, though they tend to reflect the same trends. The count proper begins on Sunday morning and transfers will also play a part in the final outcome.
The Stranorlar Electoral Area will have six seats in the coming council and the tallies of first-preference votes show Liam Doherty to be the only non-sitting councillor to finish in the top six, out of 13 candidates running in the area.
According to tally figures, Cllr. McBrearty, in his first run for office as an independent after leaving Labour, drew 1,549 first-preference votes. In the 2009 local election, his first-ever run at public office, Cllr McBrearty drew 1,466 votes on the first ballot.
Fianna Fáil Cllr. Patrick McGowan finished third in the tallies, with 1,397 votes; followed by his party colleague, Fianna Fáil Cllr. Gerry Crawford with 1,205; Fine Gael Cllr. Martin Harley with 1,186; Sinn Féin’s Liam Doherty with 1,065; Bert Galbraith of Fine Gael with 685; independent Seamus Kee with 323; independent Alan McMenamin at 307; Fianna Fáil’s Claudia Kennedy with 306; People Before Profit candidate Charlie McDyer and Labour candidate Brian McCrea, both with 235; and independent Tim Meehan with 41.
Cllr. Gary Doherty was co-opted on to Donegal County Council last November to succeed former Sinn Féin Cllr. Cora Harvey. In 2009, Cllr. Harvey topped the poll in Stranorlar.
“I’m delighted we consolidated our vote and built on the vote we got,” Cora Harvey said Saturday evening. She said she was also delighted that the party had decided to run two candidates in Stranorlar, saying that both candidates appeared to have polled very well.
“I’m extremely proud of the two of them,” Ms. Harvey said of Cllr. Doherty and Liam Doherty.
The tallies showed Liam Doherty polling well in his home area of Convoy and in Drumkeen and Raphoe. “I’m very pleased with this being my first time running,” he said.
The tally figures we have:
Gary Doherty (SF) 1,920
Frank McBrearty Jr (Ind) 1,549
Patrick McGowan (FF) 1,397
Gerry Crawford (FF) 1,205
Martin Harley (FG) 1,186
Liam Doherty (SF) 1,065
Bert Galbraith (FG) 685
Seamus Kee (Ind) 323
Alan McMenamin (Ind) 307
Claudia Kennedy (FF) 306
Charlotte (Charlie) McDyer (PBP) 235
Brian McCrea (Lab) 235
Tim Meehan (Ind) 41
Counting proper gets under way at 9am on Sunday morning at the Finn Valley Centre in Stranorlar. Diarmaid Doherty will be there to report for the Donegal Democrat online and for the Donegal People’s Press and Donegal Democrat.