Strong rumours that Cllr. Bobby O’Connell’s political future was on the ropes were modified later this evening and had him moving smoothly on the rails in the Killarney Electoral Area count. Cllr. O’Connell watched arch rival Danny Healy Rae canter out of sight early in the day. However, his home-town, Castleisland boxes charged to the rescue and his seat, which he first won in 1991, now seems safe.
John O’Mahony www.killarneytoday.com sent us the following report:
AFTER what seemed like a difficult start, Bobby O’Connell staged a big recovery once the Castleisland boxes were opened and he is now in with a good chance of taking one of the eight seats up for grabs in the Killarney Electoral Area.
The clear frontrunner of the three Fine Gael candidates, he has a tally figure of 1,182 first preferences with his party colleague John Sheahan also doing well on 957.
The big story of the election, however, is the incredible performance of Danny Healy-Rae who stormed to the top of the poll with a powerful performance right throughout the constituency.
With the quota estimated to be close to 2,030, Healy-Rae’s tally has him at 4,379 which would have been sufficient for him to bring in a running-mate.
It was a great performance, overall, by the independents as Michael Gleeson, with a tally of 2,140, and Brendan Cronin, on an estimated 2,059, also polled exceptionally well and they should both get past the post in the first count.
There was a strong performance also by Fianna Fail’s John Joe Culloty who registered a tally of 1,657 in his first ever election which was quite an achievement but hardly a surprise given the high-profile nature of his campaign and the effort he has made since being co-opted to the local authority in place of Deputy Tom Fleming.
Another independent, Donal Grady, polled very similarly to his 2009 performance with 1,053 first preferences and, with favourable transfers, he could well take a seat.
Fianna Fail first-timer Niall Kelleher polled impressively and is in close pursuit of the FG duo on a tally of 809 which is a good showing in his debut election.
John Buckley, also contesting his first election, registered 727 in the tally for Sinn Fein, closely followed by outgoing councillor Sean Counihan of Labour on 701.
Tom Fleming’s constituency secretary, Lynda Horgan, an independent candidate, is on 531 according to the tally with Fianna Fail’s John O’Shea on 465, independents Tom Doherty and Brian McCarthy on 449 and 375 respectively and veteran Killarney campaigner Cathal Walshe of Fine Gael on a tally of 356.