Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District - 6 seats
Garvan Connolly (FG)
Gerry Crawford (FF)
Michael De Ward (Ind)
Gary Doherty (SF)
Liam Doherty (SF)
Martin Harley (FG)
John Hartnett (Aontú)
Frank McBrearty (FG)
Patrick McGowan (FF)
Alan McMenamin (Ind)
Maghnus Monaghan (Renua)
It could be a case of ‘as you were’ in the newly named Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District where all six sitting councillors are seeking re-election.
Those challenging for those seats will obviously argue different, and to be fair, there are some strong candidates running this time around.
One of the big stories in Donegal in the run-up to the local elections was in this municipal district where Cllr Frank McBrearty’s decision to run for Fine Gael prompted much debate.
The Raphoe man was elected as an Independent last time out. Now with the support of the Fine Gael party behind him, he is likely to poll even better and take one of the six available seats with some comfort.
Sinn Fein’s Gary Doherty topped the poll in the 2014 election and was elected on the first count (along with McBrearty) having polled well over the quota.
With that in mind, it’s hard to look past Cllr Doherty again, although his party colleague, Cllr Liam Doherty, will be hoping that his track record on the council over the last five years will help him attract more support than he did in 2014 - he was only elected on the 9th count (as were Cllrs Gerry Crawford (FF) and Martin Harley (FG).
In fairness, none of the six elected councillors were in any bother last time out with little or no drama on count day at the Finn Valley Centre.
Alan McMenamin (Ind) is the only other candidate to have contested the 2014 election although he will be looking for a much better return of first preference votes this time out if he is to have any chance of challenging for a seat.
Of course there are other factors to consider this time. There are candidates running for Renua (Maghnus Monaghan) and Aontú (John Hartnett) and both will take votes from the sitting councillors. Aontú’s stance on Pro-Life could also garner much support - to the detriment of all the main parties.
Michael De Ward (Independent) has also run a good election campaign while it will be interesting to see how Garvan Connolly gets on. He was the second Fine Gael candidate along with Cllr Martin Harley before Cllr McBrearty’s shock move to the party.
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