Fierce battle on for three seats

Focus on the Milford local electoral area

Counting the vote.

Milford local electoral area - three seats

Candidates:

John O’ Donnell (Ind)

Maria Doherty (SF)

Eimer Friel (FG)

Noel McBride (FG)

Charlie McGinley (Ind

Ian McGarvey (Ind)

Liam Blaney (FF)

Dermot Hardy (Aontú)

Declan Meehan (Ind)


The Milford local electoral area was created by the Local Electoral Boundary Committee last year.

With a population of under 14,000 it is by far the smallest local electoral area in Donegal and is the only three-seater.

Elected councillors will sit in the Letterkenny-Milford municipal district comprising of the Letterkenny and Milford local electoral areas.

The new area has the largest population per member in the county at 4,590.

There are three sitting councillors defending the seats they won in the Letterkenny electoral area in 2014: Fianna Fáil’s Liam Blaney and independents John O’Donnell and Ian McGarvey.

The changes to the boundaries mean Cllr Michael McBride, who is from Kilmcrennan, decided to fight for his seat in the Letterkenny electoral area.

The three seats will be hard-fought with Fine Gael keen to take a seat in Deputy Joe McHugh’s backyard.

Former county mayor Noel McBride is attempting to take back a seat he lost in 2014. The party is also running Eimear Friel, a first-time candidate.

Fianna Fáil’s Liam Blaney topped the poll with first preferences in 2014 and will be expected to get across the line first this time out.   

Sinn Féin will also be keen to have representation in the area and Maria Doherty, daughter of former party vice president Pat Doherty, has been selected to run.

Kilmacrennan-based Independent John O'Donnell will be under scrutiny after he was filmed for the RTÉ Investigates programme holding discussions with an undercover reporter purporting to be a wind farm investor. The Standards in Public Office Commission found against him and he has been called on to resign by fellow councillors.

The focus of national media attention, he has said he will be judged by the electorate. He will have been helped by Michael McBride deciding to run in the Letterkenny LEA and with 1,692 first preferences last time, albeit in a different electoral area, it would take a huge collapse in his vote to see him lose out.

Ireland’s oldest councillor, Ian McGarvey, will be facing a battle to retain his seat but he has proved his doubters wrong in the past.

Aontú is running Dermot Hardy and it will be interesting considering Donegal’s No vote in the Eighth Amendment referendum last year to see whether the party will take votes from Fine Gael and Sinn Féin in particular.

 

 

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