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As the Dáil prepares to head off on its summer recess, with local and European elections behind us and with a general election looming ever nearer, Insider felt it a good time to take stock and consider the state of the various parties.
After all the counting was said and done in the local elections, just like five years ago, the Independent councillors elected now hold the balance of power in the council chamber.
THE TALLIES have answered many questions and left plenty of others unresolved. While the count for Galway city progresses slowly, the political analysts and anoraks fill in the long gaps with number crunching.
The Castlebar Local Electoral Area is the most crowded of all the areas for today's election with 17 candidates looking for the seven seats up for grabs.
Fifty candidates are competing for 18 seats across the city's three electoral wards, but in reality, only half that number can truly be considered contenders. While the city is not expected to make sweeping changes to the make-up of its local government representation, some new faces are likely to feature when the new council meets in June.
Former tánaiste Michael McDowell recently described the European elections as a mad dash where household names strive to become household names. There is more than an element of truth to this; high profile politicians such as Gerry Collins, Jim Higgins, and Brian Hayes went largely off the radar after relocating to Brussels.
When it comes to Galway City West, there are only three names political pundits and political anoraks - is there any difference, really, between the two? - want to talk about: Cllr Peter Keane, John Connolly, and Pauline O'Reilly.
With a general election expected in the coming months, there is much frenzied speculation about the prospects of the various parties across the constituencies. A curious feature of the discussions of Galway West is how little Fianna Fáil features in the conversation.
Irish politics needs more women. With the upcoming Local Elections, we are presented with a great opportunity to expand the number of women involved, especially as, currently, the national average of women’s representation at local councils is at 21 per cent.
Europe is likely to be a recurring theme in Irish politics during 2019. The fate of the Brexit process across the Irish Sea has been Issue No 1 for some time, and despite all that happened last week, including the thumping defeat for Theresa May's deal in the Commons, the only certainty is the promise of further drama to follow.