Westport breaks back by itself

Local Elections 2019: Westport Local Electoral Area Preview

After being part of an electoral area that was almost as big as some counties for the past half-a-decade, Westport has returned to a more traditional electoral area shape after the jettisoning of the Belmullet area, to go it alone for the elections.

Just four seats are up for grabs in what looks like it will be a very competitive and key battleground in the county and 11 candidates have their names in the hat for this one.

Of those 11, three are sitting councillors, Independent Cllr Christy Hyland, Fianna Fail Cllr Brendan Mulroy and Fine Gael Cllr Teresa McGuire - while three others are looking for a second act in local politics with Fine Gael's Peter Flynn running again - having stepped away following serving one term in 2014. His party colleague, former Cllr Austin Francis O'Malley, is also looking to make a comeback while Johnny O'Malley is running this time as Independent, after he failed to get he Fine Gael nomination to contest this election.

Fine Gael will be hoping to take home two seats - with McGuire putting in a very good showing in 2014, getting 1,200 first preference votes, and they will be hopeful she can return a similar result this time around again. The returning Flynn got 1,694 votes when he last ran ten years ago and a vote anything like that would have him well on the way to recapturing a seat.

Fianna Fáil's Brendan Mulroy has been a very prominent councillor since winning the seat five years ago, leading the charge against the introduction of parking charges in Westport, and he will be hoping his work will see him improve on the 913 first preference votes he got last time - before being elected on the 12th count.

Independent Cllr Christy Hyland, who split from Fine Gael after not getting the nomination five years ago, will be hoping that he can get a result similar to last time when he brought home 1,160 number one votes before being elected after passing the quota on the 12th count.

The two O'Malley's who are back in the hunt saw their votes collapse last time out and will be hoping to see a big bounce back big time this time around, with Austin O'Malley seeing his vote go from 1,304 to 1,004 and Johnny O'Malley's going from 1,685 to 836. Fianna Fail will be hoping to see Chris Maxwell put them in contention of taking a second seat - he will be hoping his Louisburgh vote comes out strongly for him, but with Austin Francis O'Malley also on the ticket there it could see the votes splitting between the two men.

Others looking to make an impression on the ballot paper are Independents Frank McAlonan, Darragh McGee, Shane Fitzgerald and Green Party candidate Cissy Nayiga.

Westport Local Electoral Area

Seats: 4

Contesting: 11

Sitting councillors: 3

Candidates

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.

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