* 22 candidates seeking ten seats
With the tallies showing Fianna Fáil flexing their muscles in the Letterkenny Electoral Area, there was one independent forcing his way among them.
As expected, both Liam Blaney and Ciaran Brogan were looking good with strong tally figures, putting them in a comfortable position ahead of Sunday’s count.
But the early indicators showed that independent candidate John O’Donnell from Kilmacrennan was right in amongst them, with over 1,600 votes showing on the tallies.
By Eamonn McFadden
The youngest candidate in the field, Glenswilly footballer James Pat McDaid, seemed to have taken a significant vote and was looking good to take a seat on Donegal County Council.
Despite a low-key campaign, Kilmacrennan’s Michael McBride was thereabouts also, mostly likely securing votes from the urban areas of the constituency as well as his Kilmacrennan/Termon heartland. Interestingly McBride opted not to use posters during his campaign, a bold decision that was motivated by his concerns for the environment, and it hasn’t done him any harm.
84 years old Mayor of Donegal, independent Ian McGarvey, had tallies showing at least 1,400 voters went his way. There was a very strong turn out in Ramelton at 81%, and he looks to have seized a sizable percentage of that.
Sinn Féin duo of Gerry McMonagle and Mick Quinn both had tallies over 1,000, with McMonagle looking in a good position to elevate his town council seat for a county council one, but it remains to be seen.
In many ways it is among those who appear slightly down the tally order where most interest lies.
Dessie Shiels was just below 1,000, close to Fine Gael’s Noel McBride and Jimmy Kavanagh.
Paschal Blake and Charlie McClafferty look to close in the 600-vote mark, with Fianna Fáil’s John Watson sitting at about 500, according to tallies. Grace Boyle, Tom Crossan and David Fisher were in the low 400s, the tally showed.
Labour Party duo Christy Galligan and Siobhan McLaughlin were in the mid-300’s.
Finishing off the tally table were independent Peter Cutliffe and People Before Profit’s Billy Banda.
Liam Blaney (FF) 1,727
John O’Donnell (Ind) 1,695
Ciaran Brogan (FF) 1,676
Ian McGarvey (Ind) 1,411
James ‘Pat’ McDaid (FF) 1,268
Gerry McMonagle (SF) 1,160
Michael McBride (Ind) 1,111
Mick Quinn (SF) 1,048
Dessie Shiels (Ind) 949
Noel McBride (FG) 906
Jimmy Kavanagh (FG) 900
Donal Cullen (Ind) 851
Paschal Blake (Ind) 655
Charlie McClafferty (Ind) 605
John Watson (FF) 505
Tom Crossan (LRP) 431
Grace Boyle (FG) 426
David Fisher (Ind) 407
Christopher Galligan (Lab) 376
Siobhan McLaughlin (Lab) 343
Peter Cutliffe (Ind) 217
Billy Banda (PBP) 196
Counting proper gets underway at 9am on Sunday morning at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny. Carolyn Farrar and Eamonn McFadden will be there to report for the Donegal Democrat online and for the Donegal People’s Press and Donegal Democrat.