Matching Sitting Councillors to New Local Election Constituencies: the Munster counties

Adrian Kavanagh, 18th June 2013

There currently are 268 councillors in the ten local authorities (which will be reduced to seven after the 2014 local elections) located within the Munster region. The number of County Councillors in some of these cities and counties will increase at the next local elections but numbers in most counties in the Munster region will fall to a notable degree. There will even be stark differences within the county of Cork in this regard, with areas in the Cork City hinterland gaining seats while areas in the west of the county will be losing seats.  At present, and taking account of changes of party allegiance and co-options since the June 2009 contest, Fine Gael is the largest party at a local authority level in Munster, currently holding 106 seats (40% of the total). Fianna Fáil is the next largest party at a local authority level in this region (62 seats, or 23% of the total number of seats), followed by Labour (36 seats, or 13%) and Sinn Fein (13 seats, or 5%), with non-party councillors filling 44 of the 267 seats (16%) at present. Smaller parties account for six seats (2% of the total) in this region, including two each for the Workers and Unemployed Action Group and Workers Party and one each for the South Kerry Independent Alliance and the Socialist Party. The Green Party did win a seat in the Ennis West electoral area in 2009, but their successful candidate, Brian Meaney, has recently left the party and joined Fianna Fail.

At present, 38 of the councillors in the Munster region are female (14%) and 230 of the councillors are male (86%). Fine Gael has the biggest number of female councilors in this region, with there being 19 female Fine Gael councillors (18% of the total number of Fine Gael councillors) in Munster at present. 7 of the Labour Party councillors are female (19% of the total number of Labour councillors), as opposed to 5 Fianna Fail councillors (8%) and 3 Sinn Fein councillors (23%), in addition to four non-party councillors (9%). 22 of the current number of Munster councillors (8%) have been co-opted at some stage over the past four years and males (18, or 82% of these) account for most of these co-options.

The changes made to the number of councillors assigned to different Munster counties in the recent boundary revisions, the amalgamation of some local authority areas (Tipperary North Riding and Tipperary South Riding, Limerick City and County, Waterford City and County), the removal of the bias towards less populated western areas in terms of the allocation of seats in Cork County, as well as the nature of the boundary changes taking place within different local authorities in the Munster region, does determine that there are going to be some constituencies in this region that are likely to be very competitive due to the large number of incumbents likely to be contesting these in 2014. Other areas could well offer good prospects for potential candidates due to a more limited level of competition from experienced incumbents (though, presumably, not from other candidates).

The local electoral area that I have allocated to the different incumbents is estimated based on what I know as regards their own local area details – effectively I try to assign these to the local electoral area that their home based is located in. My attempts to do so are shaped by the level of information available, however, and where candidate location information is limited I effectively have to “guesstimate” the candidate’s local electoral area. When more detailed information becomes available, I will correct and update these details.

First, I’ll try to outline the local election constituencies that Fine Gael’s current list of Munster councillors

Clare
Ennis 8 Johnny Flynn, Paul Murphy, Sonny Scanlan
Tony Mulqueen
Killaloe 6 Joe Cooney, Pat Burke
Joe Arkins
Shannon 6 John Crowe, Sean McLoughlin
West Clare 8 Oliver Garry, Gabriel Keating
Bill Slattery
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline 10 John A Collins, Deirdre Forde
Derry Canty
Bandon-Kinsale 6 Veronica Neville, Kevin Murphy
Tim Lombard
Blarney-Macrooom 6 Pat Burton
Michael Creed
Cobh 7 Gerry Kelly
East Cork 6 Michael Hegarty, Barbara Murray
Fermoy 6 Patrick O’Driscoll
Kanturk-Mallow 6 Gerard Murphy, Noel Buckley
Noel O’Connor, Tom Sheahan
West Cork 8 Mary Hegarty, Dermot Sheehan, Jerry Sullivan
Adrian Healy, John O’Sullivan, Noel O’Donovan
Cork City
Cork City North Central 5 Patricia Gosch
Cork City North East 4 Joe Kavanagh
Cork City North West 4 Joe O’Callaghan
Cork City South Central 5 Emmett O’Halloran
Cork City South East 7 Laura McGonigle, Des Cahill, Jim Corr
Cork City South West 6 John Buttimer, Brian Bermingham
Kerry
Killarney 8 John Sheahan, Bobby O’Connell
Listowel 7 Tim Buckley, Liam Purtill
South and West Kerry 9 Patrick Connor Scarteen, PJ Donovan
Séamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, Matt Griffin
Tralee 9 Pat McCarthy, Jim Finucane
Limerick
Limerick City East 8 Diarmuid Scully, Ger Fahy
Mary Jackman, Michael Sheahan, Leo Walsh
Limerick City North 6 Michael Hourigan, Cormac Hurley, Kevin Kiely
Denis McCarthy
Limerick City West 7 Maria Byrne, Jim Long
Daniel Butler
Adare-Rathkeale 6 Rose Brennan
Stephen Keary, David Naughton
Cappamore-Kilmallock 7 John Egan, Mary Harty
Mike Houlihan, William O’Donnell
Newcastle West 6 Jerome Scanlan, Liam Galvin, Damien Riedy
John Sheahan
Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir 6 Jimmy O’Brien, Joe Brennan, John Fahey
Louise McLoughlin
Cashel-Tipperary 7 Jack Crowe
Mary Hourigan, Michael Fitzgerald, John Crosse
Clonmel 9 Michael Murphy, Tom Acheson
Marie Murphy, Liam Ahern
Nenagh 9 Ger Darcy
Phyll Buggler
Templemore-Thurles 9 Pauline Coonan, Dennis Ryan
Waterford
Waterford City East 6 Tom Cunningham, Jim D’Arcy
John Carey
Waterford City South 6 John Cummins
Tramore-Waterford City West 6 Hilary Quinlan
Lola O’Sullivan, Ann Marie Power
Comeragh 6 Liam Brazil, Brendan Coffey,Mary Greene
Dungarvan-Lismore 8 Damien Geoghegan, Pat Nugent
Declan Doocey, Nora Flynn

Fine Gael’s strong performance in the 2009 local elections in Munster is evident in the fact that the party has at least two incumbents based in most of these electoral areas, with the main exceptions of areas in, and around, the cities of Cork and Waterford. But this level of strength could make for selections headaches in some electoral areas that have very high numbers of Fine Gael incumbents currently resident in them. The most glaring example here is the eight-seat West Cork electoral area, in which six Fine Gael sitting councillors are currently based and the party will be highly unlikely to see all of these returned at the next local elections barring a superb electoral performance in this electoral area. In a similar vein, there are also a number of six-seat electoral areas with four (or more) Fine Gael incumbents based in them (including Kanturk-Mallow, Limerick City North, Limerick City East, Newcastle West and Carrick on Suir) and would would imagine that competition within the Fine Gael ticket would be particularly intense in these electoral areas in May 2014. 

After the 2011 Dail and Seanad elections:

Jerry Sullivan was co-opted to replace Noel Harrington (Bantry) on Cork County Council

Noel O’Donovan was co-opted to replace Jim Daly (Skibbereen) on Cork County Council

Tom Sheahan was co-opted to replace Tom Barry (Mallow) on Cork County Council

Joe Kavanagh was co-opted to replace Dara Murphy (Cork City North East) on Cork City Council

Joe O’Callaghan was co-opted to replace the late David McCarthy, who sadly passed away in 2011 – Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Update: an article in the Limerick Leader has confirmed that John Sheahan will seek a nomination to contest the Newcastle West electoral area, but also noted that Leo Walsh has opted to contest the Limerick City East electoral area, as opposed to the Adare-Rathkeale or Limerick City West electoral areas.

Update: Mary Greene (Comeragh) has announced she will not contest next year’s local elections, declaring that she has found that political life has become “overwhelmingly bitter and divisive” in recent years.

Update: It seems likely that Patrick (Pa) O’Driscoll will be opting not to contest the local elections, based on a recent report in the Irish Examiner This has now been confirmed and it has also been confirmed that another Cork County councillor, Tom Sheahan, will be retiring at the 2014 local elections.

Update: Cork City councillor, Brian Bermingham, has announced that he is to retire from politics at next year’s local elections.

Update: Clare County Councillor, Sonny Scanlon, announced that he would be stepping down from politics at the 2014 Local Elections ahead of the Fine Gael selection convention for the Ennis electoral area.

Update: Cork County Councillor Tom Sheahan has announced that he will not contest next year’s local elections.

Update: As noted by Cllr. Laura McGonigle (via Twitter), Pat Burton and Gerry Kelly (Cork County Council) and Jim Corr (Cork City Council) will not be contesting the local elections.

Update: based on details provided by Terry Murphy (see here), the following further additions can be made to the list of Fine Gael councillors stepping down in the Munster region – Mary Harty and Cormac Hurley (Limerick), Tom Acheson and Jack Crowe (Tipperary South Riding),  Pauline Coonan (Tipp North Riding), Nora Flynn (Waterford).

Limerick City Councillor, Richard Butler, sadly passed away in December 2013.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. His son, Daniel, was co-opted to replace him. 

Update: As noted in The Limerick Leader, Rathkeale councillor, David Naughton, announced that he would not be contesting the 2014 Local Elections ahead of the Adare-Rathkeale selection convention.

Update: Liam Purtill (Listowel) has announced that he will be retiring from politics at next year’s local elections.

Next to look at the Labour Party.

Clare
Ennis 8
Killaloe 6 Pascal Fitzgerald
Shannon 6
West Clare 8
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline 10 Paula Desmond
Bandon-Kinsale 6
Blarney-Macrooom 6 Martin Coughlan
Cobh 7 Cathal Rasmussen
Noel Costello
East Cork 6
Fermoy 6 Noel McCarthy
Kanturk-Mallow 6 Ronan Sheehan
West Cork 8 Brendan Leahy
Cork City
Cork City North Central 5 Catherine Clancy
Cork City North East 4 John Kelleher
Cork City North West 4 Michael O’Connell
Cork City South Central 5 Lorraine Kingston
Cork City South East 7 Denis O’Flynn
Cork City South West 6 Ger Gibbons, Michael Ahern
Kerry
Killarney 8 Sean Counihan
Listowel 7 Pat Leahy
South and West Kerry 9
Tralee 9 Terry O’Brien, Gillian Wharton-Slattery
Limerick
Limerick City East 8 Orla McLoughlin
Limerick City North 6 Tom Shortt
Limerick City West 7 Joe Leddin
Tomas Hannon
Adare-Rathkeale 6
Cappamore-Kilmallock 7 David Moloney
Newcastle West 6
Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir 6 Michael Cleere
Cashel-Tipperary 7
Clonmel 9 Seanie Lonergan
Nenagh 9 Virginia O’Dowd
Jonathan Meaney
Templemore-Thurles 9 John Kennedy
Waterford
Waterford City East 6 Jack Walsh
Waterford City South 6 Seamus Ryan
Tramore-Waterford City West 6 Dee Jacques
Paddy O’Callaghan
Comeragh 6 Ger Barron
Dungarvan-Lismore 8 Billy Kyne
John Pratt

Although there are some regions in which the party is weak (most notably in Clare and in the western parts of Limerick county), Labour does have a good spread of local representation by and large across the Munster region, with at least one local Labour representative being associated with a good number of electoral areas in this region. There are also a small number of electoral areas that have two Labour incumbents based in them and competition between these Labour councillors could be intense at the next election if the party vote remains at the levels currently being recorded in national opinion polls.

After the 2011 Dail and Seanad elections:

Gillian Wharton-Slatterty was co-opted to replace Arthur Spring (Tralee) on Kerry County Council

Breda Moynihan-Cronin was co-opted to replace Marie Moloney (Killarney) on Kerry County Council

Update: Fethard councillor, Bobby Fitzgerald, who had been co-opted to replace Dennis Landy after he was elected to the Seanad, stood down from Tipperary South County Council in March 2013 and Michael Cleere from Killenaule was co-opted to replace him.

Update: It was announced on September 23rd (2013) that  veteran Cobh councillor (and former TD) John Mulvihill has announced that he is to resign from Cork County Council “with immediate effect” and will not be contesting the 2014 Local Elections.  The Labour Party co-opted Cathal Rasmussen to replace him on Cork County Council in November 2013.

Update: Cork County Councillor, Paula Desmond, will not be contesting next year’s local elections.

Now to look at Fianna Fail.

Clare
Ennis 8 Pat Daly
Tom McNamara, Brian Meaney
Killaloe 6 Pat Hayes
Michael Kelly
Shannon 6 Pat McMahon, Cathal Crowe
West Clare 8 PJ Kelly, Patrick Keane, Bill Chambers
Michael Hillery, Richard Nagle
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline 10 Seamus McGrath
Bandon-Kinsale 6 Alan Coleman
Blarney-Macrooom 6 Daniel Fleming
Aindrias Moynihan
Cobh 7
East Cork 6
Fermoy 6 Kevin O’Keeffe, Frank O’Flynn
Kanturk-Mallow 6 Bart Donegan
Dan Joe Fitzgerald
West Cork 8 Danny Crowley, Patrick Gerard Murphy
Donal F. O’Rourke, Christopher O’Sullivan
Cork City
Cork City North Central 5 Kenneth O’Flynn
Cork City North East 4 Tim Brosnan
Cork City North West 4 Tony Fitzgerald
Cork City South Central 5 Sean Martin
Cork City South East 7 Terry Shannon
Cork City South West 6 Mary Shields
Kerry
Killarney 8 John Joe Culloty
Listowel 7 John Brassil
South and West Kerry 9 Paul O’Donoghue
Michael D. O’Shea
Tralee 9 Anne McEllistrim, Norma Foley
Limerick
Limerick City East 8
Limerick City North 6 Kieran O’Hanlon
Limerick City West 7 James Collins, Leonard Enright
Adare-Rathkeale 6 Kevin Sheahan
Eddie Wade
Cappamore-Kilmallock 7 Noel Gleeson
Eddie Ryan, Mike Donegan
Newcastle West 6 Michael Collins, Francis Foley
Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir 6 Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan
Cashel-Tipperary 7 Sean McCarthy
Joe Donovan
Clonmel 9 Siobhan Ambrose
Micheal Anglim
Nenagh 9 Jim Casey
Mattie Ryan, John Carroll
Templemore-Thurles 9 Michael Smith, John Hogan
Seamus Hanafin
Waterford
Waterford City East 6 Adam Wyse
Waterford City South 6
Tramore-Waterford City West 6 Pat Daly
Comeragh 6 Michael O’Ryan, John O’Leary
Dungarvan-Lismore 8 Tom Cronin
James Tobin

As with Connacht-Ulster and Leinster, Fianna Fail are decidedly stronger in the Munster region than they proved to be in Dublin, but there were areas within the region (usually the more urban areas) in which the party struggled at the 2009 local elections, but most notably in the cities of Limerick and Waterford. (Many of the councillors associated with the new city electoral areas (or metropolitan districts) in Limerick and Waterford were elected from adjacent county council electoral areas.). That being said, there are other parts of the Munster region where Fianna Fail is very strong at the local authority level (and these are regions in which the party was stronger than Fine Gael at the 2009 local elections), but  many of Fianna Fail’s stronger areas in Munster tend to be the more rural areas that will generally be losing seats at the next local elections. This raises the potential for some selection headaches for the party in some of these electoral areas, but notably in the new 8-seat West Clare electoral area in which five Fianna Fail incumbents are currently resident. West Cork will also prove to be a very strongly contested electoral area from a Fianna Fail perspective. Fianna Fail has appointed a number of Local Area Representatives in this region, with these being mainly focused on the areas where there are low levels of party representation at the local authority level.  

Michael Cahill and Tom Fleming (both Killorglin) had been elected in 2009 as Fianna Fail candidates, but both left the party and joined the independent ranks in January 2011, just ahead of the general election. Tom Fleming subsequently won a seat in Kerry South in the Dail election and Fianna Fail’s John Joe Culloty was co-opted to take his place on Kerry County Council.

Update: Charleville businessman, Ian Doyle has confirmed that he will seek a Fianna Fail nomination to contest next year’s local elections for the party in the Fermoy electoral area.

Update: as reported in the September 11th 2013 edition of The Examiner, Tom McEllistrim will be seeking a nomination to contest the Tralee electoral area. His sister, Anne, who is currently a County Councillor for Tralee, will instead seek a nomination to contest the Killarney electoral area but she subsequently failed to win a seat at the party convention for Killarney. It remains to be seen whether she will be subsequently added to the candidate list by party headquarters.

The 2nd October edition of the Tipperary Star reported that veteran Cloughjordan-based councillor, Jim Casey, would not be seeking to contest the next local elections in the Nenagh electoral area.

Update: as reported in the October 9th edition of The Irish Examiner, Danny Crowley has announced that he will not be contesting these local elections as he disagrees with the party’s candidate strategy for the new West Cork electoral area.

Waterford City Councillor, Gary Wyse, sadly passed away on 22nd October 2013.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. His son, Adam Wyse, has been co-opted to take his place on Waterford City Council.

Tipperary councillor, Sean McCarthy. has confirmed that he will be retiring from politics at next year’s local elections (as in the Tipperary Star).

Now to look at Sinn Fein

Clare
Ennis 8
Killaloe 6
Shannon 6
West Clare 8
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline 10
Bandon-Kinsale 6
Blarney-Macrooom 6
Cobh 7
East Cork 6 Michelle Hennessy
Fermoy 6
Kanturk-Mallow 6
West Cork 8
Cork City
Cork City North Central 5 Thomas Gould
Cork City North East 4
Cork City North West 4 Michael Nugent
Cork City South Central 5 Fiona Kerins
Cork City South East 7 Chris O’Leary
Cork City South West 6 Henry Cremin
Kerry
Killarney 8
Listowel 7 Robert Beasley
South and West Kerry 9
Tralee 9 Toireasa Ferris
Limerick
Limerick City East 8
Limerick City North 6 Maurice Quinlivan
Limerick City West 7
Adare-Rathkeale 6
Cappamore-Kilmallock 7
Newcastle West 6
Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir 6
Cashel-Tipperary 7
Clonmel 9
Nenagh 9 Seamus Morris
Templemore-Thurles 9
Waterford
Waterford City East 6 Pat Fitzgerald
Waterford City South 6 John Hearne
Tramore-Waterford City West 6
Comeragh 6
Dungarvan-Lismore 8 Brendan Mansfield

Sinn Fein is weak in terms of local representations levels in parts of the Munster region (most notably Clare, as well as much of the counties of Limerick, Cork and Tipperary), but the party has concentrated levels of strength in certain parts of the region but most notably the north Kerry area and the cities of Cork and Waterford. Given the party’s strong recent performances in national opinion polls, in addition to a strong showing in a number of constituencies in this region at the 2011 General Election, there would seem to be strong scope for new party candidates to make an impact in Munster at next year’s local elections. 

Chris O’Leary, who had formerly been a Green Party councillor before leaving that party in January 2009, had won his seat in 2009 as an independent candidate, but went on to join Sinn Fein in the following year.

After the 2011 Dail and Seanad elections:

Michelle Hennessy  was co-opted to replace Sandra McLellan (Midleton) on Cork County Council

Michael Nugent was co-opted to replace Jonathan O’Brien (Cork City North West) on Cork City Council

John Hearne was co-opted to replace David Cullinane (Waterford City South) on Waterford City Council

The two Workers and Unemployed Action Group county councillors are both based in the Clonmel electoral area (Pat English and Billy Shoer, who was co-opted to replace Seamus Healy after his election to the Dail in 2011). The two Workers Party councillors are both based in urban areas and these are Ted Tynan in Cork City North East and Davy Walsh in Tramore-Waterford City West. The sole Socialist Party councillor in this region, Mick Barry, is based in the Cork City North Central Electoral Area. The other councillor in Munster representing a smaller party is Michael Gleeson and he is a councillor based in the Killarney electoral area who represents the South Kerry Independent Alliance.

The “Independents” grouping is strongly represented in Munster, as in the other regions, as the table below shows.

Clare
Ennis 8 Tommy Brennan
James Breen
Killaloe 6 Michael Begley
Shannon 6 Patricia McCarthy, Gerry Flynn, PJ Ryan
West Clare 8 Christy Curtin
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline 10 David Boyle
Bandon-Kinsale 6
Blarney-Macrooom 6
Cobh 7 Sean O’Connor
East Cork 6 Noel Collins
Fermoy 6
Kanturk-Mallow 6 John Paul O’Shea
Timmy Collins
West Cork 8 Declan Hurley
Cork City
Cork City North Central 5
Cork City North East 4
Cork City North West 4
Cork City South Central 5 Mick Finn
Cork City South East 7 Kieran McCarthy
Cork City South West 6
Kerry
Killarney 8 Brendan Cronin, Danny Healy-Rae
Listowel 7
South and West Kerry 9 Michael Cahill, Johnny Healy-Rae
Tralee 9
Limerick
Limerick City East 8
Limerick City North 6 Kathleen Leddin
John Gilligan, Gerry McLoughlin
Limerick City West 7 Pat Kennedy
Adare-Rathkeale 6 Patrick Fitzgerald
Brigid Teefy
Cappamore-Kilmallock 7
Newcastle West 6
Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir 6 Eddie O’Meara
Cashel-Tipperary 7 Tom Wood
Denis Leahy
Clonmel 9 Richie Molloy, Darren Ryan
Nenagh 9 Michael O’Meara, Hughie McGrath
John McGrath
Templemore-Thurles 9 Eddie Moran
Michael Lowry Jr., Jim Ryan, Billy Clancy
Waterford
Waterford City East 6 Mary Roche, Davy Daniels
Waterford City South 6 Cha O’Neill, Sean Reinhardt
Tramore-Waterford City West 6 Dick Roche
Joe Conway
Comeragh 6
Dungarvan-Lismore 8 Tom Higgins

There are high levels of non-party councillors in a number of electoral areas in the Munster region, but with especial concentrations of these in Clare, in northern parts of Tipperary and in parts of Cork county. There are no non-party councillors, by contrast, associated with any of the electoral areas in the northern part of Cork City (though this may reflect the strength of smaller parties such as the Socialist Party and the Workers Party in these areas).  There are especially high numbers of non-party councillors based in certain electoral areas, but most notably in the Shannon electoral area in Clare and the Templemore-Thurles electoral area in Tipperary, as well as the Limerick City North electoral area.

After the 2011 Dail and Seanad elections:

Johnny Healy-Rae was co-opted to replace Michael Healy-Rae (Killorglin) on Kerry County Council

Finally, I’ve put all these details together to try and determine which currently look like being the most competitive electoral areas in the 2014 contest, at least in terms of the number of incumbent councillors who may be contesting these constituencies.

County Councillors   Female Co-opt Male Co-opt Total  Co-opt
Clare
Ennis 8 0 0 9 0 9 0
Killaloe 6 0 0 8 0 7 0
Shannon 6 1 0 5 1 7 1
West Clare 8 0 0 9 1 9 1
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline 10 2 0 4 0 6 0
Bandon-Kinsale 6 1 0 3 1 4 1
Blarney-Macrooom 6 0 0 5 0 5 0
Cobh 7 0 0 4 1 4 1
East Cork 6 2 1 2 0 4 1
Fermoy 6 0 0 4 0 4 0
Kanturk-Mallow 6 0 0 9 1 9 1
West Cork 8 1 0 11 2 12 2
Cork City
Cork City North Central 5 2 0 3 0 5 0
Cork City North East 4 0 0 4 1 4 1
Cork City North West 4 0 0 4 2 4 2
Cork City South Central 5 2 0 3 0 5 0
Cork City South East 7 1 0 6 0 7 0
Cork City South West 6 1 0 5 0 6 0
Kerry
Killarney 8 0 0 7 2 7 2
Listowel 7 0 0 5 0 5 0
South and West Kerry 9 0 0 8 1 8 1
Tralee 9 4 1 3 0 7 1
Limerick
Limerick City East 8 2 0 4 0 5 0
Limerick City North 6 1 0 8 0 10 0
Limerick City West 7 1 0 7 0 8 0
Adare-Rathkeale 6 2 0 6 0 8 0
Cappamore-Kilmallock 7 1 0 7 1 8 1
Newcastle West 6 0 0 6 0 6 0
Tipperary
Carrick-on-Suir 6 2 1 5 1 7 2
Cashel-Tipperary 7 1 0 7 0 8 0
Clonmel 9 2 0 9 1 11 1
Nenagh 9 2 0 9 0 11 0
Templemore-Thurles 9 1 0 9 0 10 0
Waterford
Waterford City East 6 1 0 7 0 8 0
Waterford City South 6 0 0 5 2 5 2
Tramore-Waterford City West 6 3 1 6 0 9 1
Comeragh 6 1 0 5 0 6 0
Dungarvan-Lismore 8 1 0 9 0 10 0

The number of councillors has been increased in some of these local authority areas (Cork County and Kerry), but some electoral areas in these counties (and especially in Cork County) do seem to offer more “space” for new candidates to get established in and to challenge for seats. Cork County is a very interesting case here. The number of seats being assigned to the county has been increased from 48 to 55. But there is also another impact arising from the abolition of the old approach applied to Cork County of dividing the county into three different “divisions” and of almost treating these areas as separate counties when it came to the drawing up of local election constituencies and the awarding of seats to these. The knock on effect of this approach was that the population per local representative ratios tended to be much smaller in the less densely populated and more rural western areas in the county than they were in the more urban and most densely populated areas in the east of the county and especially in the areas located within the immediate hinterland of Cork City. With population per councillors ratios effectively now being brought into line across the county, the gaining of an extra seven council seats by Cork has been translated into even more dramatic gains by electoral areas located in the more eastern and urban parts of the county, but most notably applying in the cases of the new Cobh, Ballincollig and Carrigaline, Fermoy and Bandon-Kinsale electoral areas, as illustrated by the table above.  

But not all of the electoral areas in Cork County have gained extra seats and indeed the two more western electoral areas of Kanturk-Mallow and West Cork will be effectively losing a notable number of council seats at next year’s local elections, as shown above. A number of other counties in this region have lost county council seats in these boundary revisions, but in particular those local authority areas that have been amalgamated, namely Tipperary North Riding and Tipperary South Riding, Waterford City and Waterford County, and Limerick City and Limerick County. The loss of seats seem to have especially impacted on some of the local electoral areas within these counties due to the way that these revisions have panned out, with Limerick City North, Tramore-Waterford City West, Dungarvan-Lismore, Clonmel and Nenagh appearing to be especially competitive. In the case of Limerick City North, ten incumbents are either based in or are highly likely to contest this new  six seat electoral area.

There is an interesting gender dimension here too. Some of the new electoral areas have high levels (in relative terms) of female incumbents associated with them – but most notably the Tralee and Tramore-Waterford City West electoral areas – while others are present have no female representatives associated with them.

Note that this analysis is based on the best level of information that I have at present and these details will be regularly updated and corrected as and when further information comes my way.

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About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer in Maynooth University Department of Geography.
This entry was posted in Candidates, Gender, local elections, Munster and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Matching Sitting Councillors to New Local Election Constituencies: the Munster counties

  1. Pingback: Blood in the Water?: How patterns of local representation match up with new local election boundaries – an overview | Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses

  2. Pingback: Retiring County/City Councillors | Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses

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