DANNY Healy-Rae, as expected, is surging to the top of the poll in the Killarney Electoral Area but it is important to stress that several of the boxes have still to be opened.
By: John O’Mahony www.killarneytoday.com
The independent councillor, on an estimated 25 per cent of the first preference vote, is well positioned to be first elected, most likely well above the quota, when the first count is revealed later this Saturday night.
Another independent, Brendan Cronin (21%) is also polling exceptionally well as is Michael Gleeson (12%) of the South Kerry Independent Alliance.
Niall Kelleher (5%) and John Joe Culloty (4.3%) are leading the Fianna Fail challenge and, at the early stages, it would appear that John Sheahan (7%) is the most likely Fine Gael candidate to succeed with Castleisland’s Bobby O’Connell trailing well behind on an estimated 1.7 per cent.
Independent Donal Grady (3%) and Labour’s Sean Counihan (2.7%) are also in contention, particularly with the Killarney town boxes still to be opened and Sinn Fein’s John Buckley (3.8%) and independent Lynda Horgan (3.9%) are also featuring.
Independents Tom Doherty and Brian McCarthy and Fianna Fail’s John O’Shea are the others to feature early in the count.
In the race for Europe, Fianna Fail’s Brian Crowley is way out in front with the tallymen giving him 26 per cent of the vote followed by Sinn Fein’s Liach Ní Riada on 17 per cent and Killarney’s Sean Kelly on 12 per cent.
But Kelly is far from certain of retaining his seat as his Fine Gael running mates are closing in with Deirdre Clune on nine per cent and Simon Harris on seven.
Brian Crowley’s FF running mate, Kieran Hartley, is on an estimated five per cent of the vote alongside Grace O’Sullivan of the Green Party, Labour’s Phil Prendergast and independent Diarmuid O’Flynn.