ELECTIONS 2019

DONEGAL LEA: Battle on for Donegal town seat amid crowded field

Fears town could be left without a councillor

Declan Magee

Reporter:

Declan Magee

Email:

declan.magee@donegaldemocrat.com

DONEGAL LEA: Battle on for Donegal town seat amid crowded field

Tom Conaghan (right) speaking to Eunan Doyle at the count in Donegal town, Picture: Matt Britton

A battle for a seat in Donegal town is emerging in the Donegal local electoral area.

Four candidates from the Donegal town area, sitting councillors Tom Conaghan and Seamus Maguire from Drimarone, along with Pauric Kennedy and Justin Coughlan ran while sitting councillors Noel Jordan from Mountcharles and Micheál Naughton in Laghey also draw votes from the town.

The tallies show the four candidates from the town drew over 2,550 votes with Conaghan taking 923, Coughlin 164, Maguire 707 (although one tally has him at 881) and Pauric Kennedy on 738.

Ten years ago a proliferation of candidates from the town saw no one from the area elected and there are fears that this could happen again.

A battle for a fifth seat in the local electoral area could come down to a straight fight between Conaghan and Maguire, who was co-opted to replace John Campbell from Drimarone in January. Both candidates say they are in the mix for the seat.

The fifth seat looks like a  race between Conaghan, Maguire, Michael McMahon (SF) and John McNulty (FG).

Tom Conaghan, whose vote has dropped by around 600, feels the town could lose its representation.

"There is a danger now that Donegal town will be left without a seat in Lifford, however, I still think I am in with a fighting chance for the last seat, he said.

Seamus Maguire’s camp is confident they are in the race but need to keep ahead of Pauric Kennedy, who is serving as the mayor of the town, and Tom Conaghan.

John Campbell, who is in Seamus Maguire’s team, says it is not impossible that both Conaghan and Maguire will retain their seats.

Centrally based in the LEA, they will be transfer friendly and transfers could get both in ahead of John McNulty and Micheal McMahon.

Fine Gael are, however, quietly confident that they will get a second candidate across the line.

The first count will make the picture clearer


Donegal local electoral area - six seats


Tallies:


John J Boyle (FG) 757


Cyril Brennan (People Before Profit) 278


Tom Conaghan (Ind)  923


Justin Coughlin (Ind) 164


Diarmaid Doherty (Ind) 393


Billy Grimes (Ind)  864


Noel Jordan (SF) 1,460


Niamh Kennedy (Ind) 1,400


Pauric Kennedy (Ind)  738


Seamus Maguire (Ind)  707


Philip McGlynn (FF) 473


Eimear McGuinness (FF) 495


Michael McMahon (SF)  828


John McNulty (FG)  1,039


Valerie McNulty (Ind) 176


Roger Meehan (FF) 494


Michéal Naughton  (FF) 1,123


Seán Ó Beirne  (Ind) 319


Barry Sweeny (FG) 1,177