Jubilation And Sorrow In Equal Measure Amid Final Clare Local Election Results

Photo (c) Clare FM

The 28 councillors to represent communities across Clare for the next five years have been confirmed.

It’s after a dramatic weekend of counting in this county’s local election of 2024 concluded last night at Treacy’s West County Hotel in Ennis.

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With the Klirush and Shannon Electoral areas down for decision on Sunday, it took just over two hours for the second-youngest candidate in the field to cause a major upset.

As Newmarket-On-Fergus and Fianna Fáil’s David Griffin topped the poll in Shannon with over 1,500 votes on the first count.

Progress was slow and steady from here, with a seventh count needed in the Kilrush LEA for Cree Independent Dinny Gould to become the first over the line there amassing the 1,817 votes required.

The shock of the day came on the next count, when incumbent Kilkee Fianna Fáil Councillor Cillian Murphy was eliminated with just six votes separating himself and party colleague Alan Troy at the time.

Although his subsequent request for a recount was granted, it would be to no avail.

Cllr Murphy says that while he must process the result and his party reflect on its strategy in West Clare, he insists he won’t be going away anytime soon.

Shortly after Sinn Féin Cllr Donna McGettigan, who was co-opted to the late Cllr Mike McKee’s seat in January 2020, was the next to be elected in Shannon.

22 year-old Fianna Fáil candidate Rachel Hartigan was the next elected and will be the youngest candidate in the new council chamber.

The Ardnacrusha native says it’s crucial for her region to have representation.

The Fine Gael duo of Sixmilebridge Cllr John Crowe and Shannon’s Tony Mulcahy then repeated their success of 2009 by securing seats, with the final position going to Clonlara Independent Cllr Michael Begley.

As a result Sixmilebridge Cllr PJ Ryan became the third incumbent to lose their seat in the local election of 2024.

In Kilrush, Independent Cllr Ian Lynch, soon retained his seat, along with Doonbeg Fianna Fáil Cllr Rita McInerney following shortly and Cross Fine Gael Cllr Gabriel Keating.

Before Quilty Fianna Fáil Candidate Michael Shannon made history becoming the first Kilmurry Ibrickane man to claim a seat in West Clare in over 40 years.

All told, the next Clare County Council will involve 14 members of Fianna Fáil, 9 Fine Gael, 2 Sinn Féin and 3 Independents.

You can hear more on this on Clare FM’s Morning Focus from 9.