Your new-look county council

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Not for the first time, the local elections in Wexford produced great drama with some well-known faces bowing out.

The big losers were Sinn Féin whose problems nationwide were mirrored in Wexford as they lost three councillors.

Fionntán Ó’Súilleabháin in Gorey and Tom Forde in Wexford respectively scraped over the line while Mick Roche hung in until the last count in Rosslare but lost to Aontú candidate Jim Codd, while Marie Doyle missed out in New Ross as did first-time candidate Colette Nolan in Kilmuckridge.

The biggest shock for Sinn Féin was the failure of their general election candidate Johnny Mythen to keep his seat in Enniscorthy.  He was joined by another high-profile candidate in current county council chairman, Fianna Fail’s Keith Doyle, who has been involved in local politics for 25 years, losing his seat, as did Fine Gael councillor of 10 years Paddy Kavanagh.

Only Kathleen Codd Nolan (FG), John O’Rourke (IND) and Barbara Anne Murphy (FF) kept their seats in Enniscorthy on a new-look area that will feature cousin of TD James Browne, Aidan Browne (FF), Cathal Byrne (FG) and Jackser Owens (IND).

In Kilmuckridge all four sitting councillors kept their seats – Pip Breen (FF), Mary Farrell (IND), Willie Kavanagh (FF) and Oliver Walsh (FG).

Malcolm Byrne (FF) may have missed out on Europe but topped the poll in Gorey, and was joined by Fine Gael duo Anthony Donohoe and Diarmuid Devereux before Donal Kenny and Joe Sullivan made it a clean sweep for Fianna Fáil in the district with Sinn Féin’s Ó’Súilleabháin also getting in on the last count.

Labour veteran Robbie Ireton failed to retain his seat.

In Rosslare, Ger Carthy topped the poll with over 20% of first preference votes and was closely followed by Frank Staples (FG) on count two.

Fianna Fáil general election candidate Lisa McDonald faced an anxious wait before being elected on count seven.

Wexford confirmed itself as a Labour stronghold with George Lawlor topping the poll with over 20% and was later joined by Labour colleague Maura Bell, but former councillor Joe Ryan just missed out on the final seat to complete a clean sweep.

John Hegarty (FG) was also elected on count one after he had transferred from Gorey to Wexford LEA. Independent candidate Leonard Kelly took the third seat in Wexford before All-Ireland winner in 1996 Garry Laffan (FF), veteran Davy Hynes (IND) and Tom Forde (SF) were all elected.

In New Ross Independent Pat Barden topped the poll, while Fianna Fáil’s Michael Sheehan, Michael Whelan and John Fleming were all elected. They were joined by Brídín Murphy (FG) and Anthony Connick (IND).

Overall in Wexford, Fianna Fáil can be said to have been the real winners, taking 29% of the vote, followed by the Independents on 27% and Fine Gael with 26%.

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