Within the next two weeks, Galway will have three new councillors, with co-options on to the Galway city and county councils to take place following the election to the Dáil of councillors Catherine Connolly, Sean Canney, and Anne Rabbitte.
The support of councillors will be vital to the Galwegians who are running for a seat in Seanad Éireann, which is the State's next major election.
Billy Connelly will be co-opted on to Galway County Council to replace Independent TD Sean Canney who topped the poll in Galway East last month with 8,447 first preferences, and was elected on the sixth count. Mr Connelly was Dep Canney''s director of elections, and has a long history of community activism, being chair of the Caherlistrane/Kilcoona Community Council, director of The Gathering events in Caherlistrane, and a member of the GAA.
Dep Anne Rabbitte who won the second Galway East seat, also on the sixth count, will also have to be replaced on Galway County Council. The seat will stay with Fianna Fáil, with the new councillor probably coming from the ranks of candidates who stood in the 2014 local elections.
Former city councillor Catherine Connolly, elected for Galway West on the final count with a total of 10,239, has nominated a woman to replace her on the city council. However she declined to name the new councillor yet, until that individual has been formally notified by City Hall. Dep Connolly did say "no one will be surprised when her name becomes known", adding she is someone who "works for the common good and who I trust".
The next major election will be to Seanad Éireann, although given the upper house's deeply restricted electorate of TDs, outgoing senators, councillors, and university graduates this election elicits interest only from politicians and political watchers.
Among the number of Galwegians contesting the election, are county councillor Tom Welby, city councillor Pearce Flannery, outgoing Sinn Féin senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, recent Fianna Fáil Galway West candidate John Connolly, Alice-Mary Higgins of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, and entrepreneur Pádraig Ó Céidigh. A Seanad election takes place up to 90 days after Dáil Éireann has dissolved.