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
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
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