DONEGAL LEA: Battle on for Donegal town seat amid crowded field

Fears town could be left without a councillor

DONEGAL LEA: Battle on for Donegal town seat amid crowded field

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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