Derry Canty: 'We had our battle, but I'm in here now'

Derry Canty: 'We had our battle, but I'm in here now'
Fine Gael candidate Derry Canty with his supporters, after getting elected at the counting of votes for the local elections at City Hall, Cork.Picture: David Keane.

CORK City South-West poll-topper Derry Canty had a simple message for the executives in City Hall who he warred with for years over the boundary extension: there's laundry list of issues to be dealt with in Ballincollig.

Through the protracted debate over the city-county boundary, the Fine Gael county councillor and former County Mayor was the most vocal opponent of Ballincollig, the largest town in Cork, being brought into the city.

And though the city won the war, City Hall might not have been counting on a five-year council term for Mr Canty as part of the prize.

With seven seats up for grabs, Ballincollig showed its strength, with Mr Canty topping the poll less than 100 votes off the quota.

He's joined in Ballincollig by his running mate Garrett Kelleher, and Fianna Fáil's Colm Kelleher giving the old county area a strong voice in City Hall.

City councillors Fergal Dennehy, Fianna Fáil, Henry Cremin, Sinn Féin, and Thomas Moloney, independent, were all returned too.

The greenwave didn't pass over this ward either, with Collette Finn comfortably taking a seat for the Green Party.

The highest profile loss here was Cllr PJ Hourican, who had returned to politics in 2014 only to lose the seat this time out as the centre of gravity of the ward moved from Bishopstown to Ballincollig.

Mr Canty played down any ill will between himself and those on the other side of the boundary debate, but said that everyone is going to have to get in sync to make it work.

"We did have battles. 'Tis like a hurling team. You represent your club, then you become part of the Cork county hurling team. It's the same here. We had our battle, but I'm in here now, I can work on behalf of Ballincollig and the boundary that came in here," he said.

Though Mr Canty topped the poll, he was pipped for the first seat by Mr Dennehy, who jumped ahead of him on the transfers of Fianna Fáil running mate Shane Fallon.

Mr Dennehy said that the new boundaries would help unify communities like his own in Togher which were divided by the old lines.

"We have farmlands in my ward that we didn't have before. The last time there were cows in Togher was 40 years ago.

"But I think in many ways the coming in of the county areas will unify areas that were divided between two local authorities.

"Long before the city boundary was discussed or debated, I've been calling for areas like Togher, Rochestown, and Leghenamore to come into the city.

"Others got preoccupied with Little Island and business parks - they were looking at rates bases. For me, it was about communities, and I think this will bring communities together," he said.

Like Mr Canty, he said there is work to be done in old County Council areas to bring them up to the standard of parts of the city.

In a big day for the Dennehy family, his brother Brian, fellow son of former TD John Dennehy, was reelected 20 minutes before him in Fingal County Council.

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