Valid poll: 12,112
Flynn, Bernard Ind 249
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,143
Loftus, Michael FF 1,009
Moffatt, David LAB 725
Mulherin, Michelle FG 1,921
Munnelly, Jarlath FG 1,521
O'Malley, Johnnie FF 1,003
Reape, Annie May FF 1,619
Staunton, Eddie FG 1,498
Weir, Seamus FG 1,424
Michelle Mulherin elected. Mulherin’s surplus to be distributed next count.
Flynn, Bernard Ind 252 (+2 )
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,162 (+19 )
Loftus, Michael FF 1,012 (+3 )
Moffatt, David LAB 739 (+14 )
Munnelly, Jarlath FG 1,574 (+53 )
O'Malley, Johnnie FF 1,026 (+23 )
Reape, Annie May FF 1,643 (+24 )
Staunton, Eddie FG 1,518 (+20 )
Weir, Seamus FG 1,455 (+31 )
Bernard Flynn and Davit Moffatt eliminated. Their votes to be distributed next count.
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,308 (+146 )
Loftus, Michael FF 1,182 (+170 )
Munnelly, Jarlath FG 1,725 (+151 )
O'Malley, Johnnie FF 1,179 (+153 )
Reape, Annie May FF 1,699 (+54 )
Staunton, Eddie FG 1,761 (+243 )
Weir, Seamus FG 1,538 (+83 )
Eddie Staunton elected. Staunton’s surplus to be distributed next count.
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,310 (+2 )
Loftus, Michael FF 1,195 (+13 )
Munnelly, Jarlath FG 1,732 (+7 )
O'Malley, Johnnie FF 1,180 (+1 )
Reape, Annie May FF 1,700 (+1 )
Weir, Seamus FG 1,544 (+6 )
Jarlath Munnelly elected and Johnnie O'Malley eliminated. O’Malley’s votes to be distributed next count.
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,481 (+171 )
Loftus, Michael FF 1,344 (+149 )
Reape, Annie May FF 2,190 (+490 )
Weir, Seamus FG 1,688 (+144 )
Annie May Reape elected. Reape’s surplus to be distributed next count.
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,557 (+76 )
Loftus, Michael FF 1,533 (+189 )
Weir, Seamus FG 1,778 (+90 )
Seamus Weir elected. Weir’s surplus to be distributed next count.
Ginty, Gerry Ind 1,578 (+21 )
Loftus, Michael FF 1,554 (+26 )
Gerry Ginty elected. Michael Loftus eliminated.
Fine Gael triumph in Ballina as O'Malley loses out
Not even having a junior minister in Ballina could save Fianna Fáil from losing a seat in the Ballina Electoral Area last weekend. Sitting county councillor Johnnie O'Malley was the one to lose out as Fine Gael held onto their four seats, with Independent Gerry Ginty claiming the sixth and final seat for the area.
Ginty had to hold on to the seventh count to see off the challenge of Crossmolina based Fianna Fáil candidate Michael Loftus, by only a handful of votes, to be elected without reaching the quota which was set at 1,731. Fine Gael was able to return its four sitting councillors with Michelle Mulherin putting in a storming display of vote getting, breaking the quota on the first count with 1,921 first preference votes, 190 more than she needed. Mulherin, who ran as a Fine Gael candidate in the last general election and later for the Seanad, must really fancy her chances of putting serious pressure on sitting Junior Minister Dara Calleary for a seat in the Ballina area if a general election is called in the future.
While Mulherin showed remarkable pulling power in breaking through the quota on the first count, her party colleague Jarlath Munnelly, who many expected to struggle in this election after seeing a large chunk of his natural hinterland handed over to the Belmullet Electoral Area in the boundary re-jig still managed to get 1,521 first preference votes himself. The Killala native, who has been a very vocal activist for his home town, polled particularly well there, while picking up a large number of votes in other areas where he might have been suspected to struggle.
Eddie Staunton also regained his seat without much struggle and was the second person past the post, the Moygownagh man pulled in almost 1,500 first preference votes to set himself to be returned for the fifth time in a row.
Fianna Fáil had to wait until the fifth count to finally get its solitary candidate home when Annie Mae Reape, who topped the poll in 2004, got 490 votes following the elimination of her party colleague, former county councillor Johnnie O'Malley. O'Malley's elimination from the council will have been a tough blow for party and for the councillor himself who is a very active member of numerous community groups in the town. Former cathaoirleach Seamus Weir made it four out of four for Fine Gael, when the Knockmore man made it over the line. Weir pulled a very strong first preference vote but was slow on the transfer pick up until later on in the count.
The final seat was the battle royal between Independent Ballina based Gerry Ginty who was making a return to politics and Fianna Fáil's Crossmolina based candidate Michael Loftus. Both men were within touching distance of each other all the way through the counts, and Ginty just held on by the skin of his teeth after a recount to take the seat.
Loftus was a very fancied candidate to take the seat, but the positioning of former Fianna Fáil member David Moffatt on the ticket for Labour, who hails from the same home town, could have been his downfall, with voters who would have made geographical based voting choices having the choice of going for Moffatt or Loftus.
All in all it was a very bad day at the office for Deputy Calleary — even his presence couldn't help the government party hold on to a seat. Fine Gael took 6,361 first preference votes in the area which was 52.51 per cent of the total valid poll. The three Fianna Fáil party nominees were only able to take home 3,631 first preference votes, a little under 30 per cent of the total poll.
But the real winner of the day was Independent new councillor Gerry Ginty whose strong urban Ballina base saw him take 1,143 first preference votes, almost nine and half per cent of the popular vote, and his presence is sure to liven things up in the council chamber for the next five years when he joins a band of four other Independent councillors.
Ballina Electoral Area
Michelle Mulherin FG
Jarlath Munnelly FG
Eddie Staunton FG
Seamus Weir FG
Annie Mae Reape FF
FG-4, Ind-1, FF-1