Following the closure of the nomination process for this month's local elections last weekend, the stage has been set with a total of 63 candidates set to chase the 30 seats up for grabs in Mayo County Council.
Of the outgoing councillors, only four will not be seeking re-election, with Castlebar independent councillor, Frank Durcan, joining fellow independents, Michael Holmes and Gerry Ginty, and Fine Gael's Henry Kenny, who had previously declared they would not be running again this time around.
Fine Gael have the largest number of candidates in the field, running 19 across the county, while Fianna Fáil have 14 candidates, with the two major parties contesting in each of the six electoral areas. Sinn Féin have five candidates running - they are not running one in the Westport area. The Green Party and Aontú are running two candidates each, while Labour, the Social Democrats, People Before Profit and Renua have one candidate each in the race - which will have 18 Independents in the running also.
The two most crowded fields in the election will be in the Castlebar and Ballina areas, with 17 names in the race for the seven seats in Castlebar and 12 for the six seats in Ballina. In Westport there are 11 candidates looking for the four seats up for grabs there, while ten will go to the post for the six seats up for grabs in the Claremorris area, seven candidates will be looking for one of the four seats in Swinford and six will battle it out for the three up for grabs in the Belmullet area.
One interesting late inclusion on the list of nominees is former Fianna Fáil town councillor Aidan Crowley. who is running as an Independent candidate in Castlebar. Crowley contested a number of county council elections for the party in the past but never took a seat, but was a member of Castlebar Town Council for a number of years. Aontú's Cathy Gaffney, who had been selected to run for the party in Ballina - did not go forward before the nomination deadline closed.
Fine Gael: Jarlath Munnelly, John O’Hara, Aileen Horkan, Kieran Gill. Fianna Fáil: Annie May Reape, Michael Loftus, Eamon Moore. Sinn Féin: Michael Regan. Social Democrats: Tracey Smith. Independent: Seamus Weir, Mark Duffy, Willie Nolan
Fine Gael: Gerry Coyle, Breege Grealis. Fianna Fáil: Seán Carey, Paul McNamara. Sinn Féin: Teresa Whelan. Independent: Jay Heneghan.
Fine Gael: Cyril Burke, Donna Sheridan, Ger Deere, Eugene McCormack. Fianna Fáil: Blackie Gavin, Al McDonnell, Martin McLaughlin. Sinn Féin: Joe McHale. Labour: Kamal Uddin. Renua: Michael Farrington. People Before Profit: Joe Daly. Independent: Anthony Vesey, Gerry Loftus, Michael Kilcoyne, Harry Barrett, Des Walsh, Aidan Crowley.
Fine Gael: Michael Burke, Tom Connolly, John Cribbin, Patsy O’Brien. Fianna Fáil: Michael Carty, Damien Ryan. Sinn Féin: Natasha Warde. Aontú: Paul Lawless. Green Party: Margaret Sheehan. Independent: Richard Finn.
Fine Gael: Neil Cruise, Tom Lavin. Fianna Fáil: John Caulfield, Michael Smyth. Sinn Féin: Gerry Murray. Aontú: Tommy Horan. Independent: Séan Forkin.
Fine Gael: Peter Flynn, Teresa McGuire, Austin Francis O'Malley. Fianna Fáil: Chris Maxwell, Brendan Mulroy. Green Party: Cissy Nayiga. Independent: Frank McAlonan, Darragh McGee, Christy Hyland, John (Johno ) O’Malley, Shane Fitzgerald.