Final seats filled after marathon City Hall recount

Final seats filled after marathon City Hall recount
Paudie Dineen (Ind) took his seat in the Cork City South Central ward, by just 14 votes. 

PAUDIE Dineen and Fiona Kerins have both retained their seats on Cork City Council following a tense recount at City Hall last night.

The last two seats on Cork city’s new council were filled at the 14th recount, with former county councillor Eoghan Jeffers agonisingly missing out.

The South Central ward was the subject of a three-way battle for the two remaining seats between two Sinn Féin councillors - Jeffers and Kerins - and Independent Paudie Dineen.

Sinn Féin called a recount after just 12 votes separated Mr Dineen and Mr Jefffers.

Mr Jeffers had polled 774 first preference votes, ahead of both Ms Kerins (703) and Mr Dineen (554) but transfers saw Ms Kerins make gains to almost secure her seat.

After nine rounds of recounts, Jeffers pulled back six votes to remain just six behind Dineen after the surpluses of elected candidate Shane O’Callaghan and eliminated candidate David Boyle were distributed.

The distribution of votes from Fine Gael’s elected Shane O’Callaghan saw Jeffers claw the deficit back to five.

The tension-filled recount then went into the 14th count of Dan Boyle's surpluses with just one vote separating Kerins (1,070) and Dineen (1,071), leaving Jeffers on 1,057 and out of the race.

Ms Kerins and Mr Dineen were then confirmed as the final two candidates to take their seats on the council.

Mr Dineen said he is elated to be voted in.

“It was arduous watching every paper being counted but it was also a great experience. 

"I always felt I would get the transfers and it worked out in the end. I’m just elated and looking forward to the next five years. I’d like to thank my family and supporters who got me here.” 

Ms Kerins said victory was bittersweet, with her running mate eliminated.

“I’m very emotional. As a party, we didn’t want to be in this space but we set out to take two seats on South Central and we nearly got there so we are happy with that performance."

Mr Jeffers said he was looking at the bigger picture for his party in Irish politics - after their eight seats were halved in this election - and would have another tilt at a seat in five years’ time.

“We gave it a fair whack and I think the party is happy with the performance in this ward. To just miss out is disappointing but there were a number of factors including the boundary extension," he added.

Lord Mayor Mick Finn topped the poll in the ward with sitting councillor Seán Martin also easily retaining his seat. Former councillor Dan Boyle took a seat for the Green Party and Fine Gael’s Shane O’Callaghan was also elected.

:: FINAL RESULT 

ELECTED: 

Mick Finn (IND) - 1,753 (first preference votes)

Dan Boyle (GP) - 1,457

Seán Martin (FF) - 1,383

Shane O’Callaghan (FG) - 1,235

Fiona Kerins (SF) - 703

Paudie Dineen (IND) - 554

NOT ELECTED 

Eoghan Jeffers (SF) - 774 

David Boyle (FF) - 768 

Luke Field (LAB) - 459 

Ciaran Kenneally (IND) - 428 

Patricia O’Dwyer (SD) - 360 

 Seán Cronin (IND) - 209 

Lekha Menon Margassery (IND) - 199 

Michael Mohally (HRRA) - 126 

Graham O’Shea (IND) - 93 

Suzanne Hegarty (IND) - 45 

Maurice Joseph Sexton (IND) - 42

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