It was a disappointing finish to a hard-fought race for Sinn Féin councillor, Paul Hogan, as he was pipped at the final hurdle by Labour’s Willie Penrose to the final seat on offer in Longford-Westmeath.
After maintaining a strong position throughout the entirety of the marathon count in Kenagh last weekend, Cllr Hogan was overtaken by Penrose on the 15th and final count last Thursday.
Councillor Hogan performed impressively from the outset of proceedings in Kenagh, with the first count showing 5,276 votes for the Athlone man, putting him in fourth position behind Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy, Independent candidate Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, and Fine Gael man, Peter Burke.
With Troy elected at the first count, Hogan maintained his position at fourth in the table throughout the majority of proceedings thanks to strong transfers across the board. After the 13th count and a recount Hogan remained 366 votes ahead of Penrose.
However, the elimination of Fine Gael’s James Bannon on the 14th count and the transfer of his votes were enough to see Mullingar’s Peter Burke elected. The gap between Penrose and Hogan was then enough to mean that Burke’s surplus could not affect the standings, meaning Hogan was excluded.
It was a valiant effort from the Athlone councillor during what was his fourth attempt at running for a seat in the Dáil. Cllr Hogan is yet to make a decision on what the future may hold for his political career.