City and County Council Members – Co-options and Changes since the 2014 Local Elections

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th July 2016 (with subsequent updates)

The 2014 Local Elections resulted in the election of 949 City and County Councillors. Since that election, I have estimated that 120 of the successful candidates in these elections, or candidates who were had been co-opted to replace some of the candidates at an earlier date, have either stood down – in most cases, due to being elected to Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann at the 2016 elections – or have sadly passed away. 81 of the former Councillors in this group are male (67.5%) and 39 are female (32.5%).

As Table 1 shows, 76 (66.1%) of the co-options/new Councillors are male, while 39 are female (33.9%). As a result of recent co-options (which have tended to favour males), the number of female members of City and County Councils, which had been increasing following co-options in the early years of these Councils, now stands at 197, the same as number of female Councillors elected at the 2014 elections.

A notable proportion of these co-options have been accounted for by family members of the Councillors, who have stood down or who have passed away. I estimate that 15 of the co-opted Councillors would fall into this group, amounting to 12.7% of the total number of co-options at present.

Table 1 shows that some local authority areas have seen a large number of co-options, as of this point in time – most notably Cork County Council (12), Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (10 – with 4 co-options for the Stillorgan EA alone), South Dublin (9) and Dublin City Council (8), as well as Louth (6), Fingal (6), Kildare (5), Limerick (5), Monaghan (5) and Westmeath (5).

An earlier post dealing with this topic was published on the Cedar House Revolution website on 16th March 2016.

Electoral Area Standing Down/Deceased Co-option/Replacement
Carlow Jennifer Murnane O’Connor FF, Anne Ahern FF Ken Murnane FF, Andrea Dalton FF
Bailieborough-Cootehill Niamh Smyth FF Sarah O’Reilly
Cavan-Belturbert Eugene Greenan SF  Daniel Downey
West Clare
Cork County
Ballincollig-Carrigaline Donnchadh O Laoghaire SF Eoghan Jeffers
Bandon-Kinsale Tim Lombard FG Aidan Lombard
Blarney-Macroom Aindrias Moynihan FF Gobnait Moynihan
Cobh Claire Cullinane IND  Diarmuid Ó Cadhla PC 
East Cork Pat Buckley SF, Aaron O’Sullivan FF Danielle Twomey SF, Michael Ahern FF
Fermoy Kevin O’Keeffe FF Deirdre O’Brien
Kanturk-Mallow Dan Joe Fitzgerald FF, Daniel Fitzgerald FF* Daniel Fitzgerald, Gearóid Murphy
West Cork Michael Collins IND, Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony FF, Noel O’Donovan FG Danny Collins IND, Gillian Coughlan FF, John O’Sullivan FG
Cork City
Cork City North Central Mick Barry AAA Fiona Ryan
Cork City North East
Cork City North West
Cork City South Central
Cork City South East
Cork City South West
Donegal Sean McEniff FF Micheál Naughton
Letterkenny  Mick Quinn SF Adrian Glackin
Inishowen John Ryan FG Mickey Doherty
Dublin City
Ballyfermot-Drimnagh Brid Smith PBP Hazel de Nortuin
Ballymun Noel Rock FG Norma Sammon
Beaumont-Donaghmede Denise Mitchell SF Edel Moran
Clontarf Sean Haughey FF Sean Paul Mahon
Crumlin-Kimmage Catherine Ardagh FF Michael Mullooly
North Inner City Jonathan Dowdall SF Gaye Fagan
Pembroke-South Dock
Rathgar-Rathmines Kate O’Connell FG, Jim O’Callaghan FF Anne Feeney FG, Claire O’Connor FF
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
Blackrock Victor Boyhan IND Anne Colgan
Dun Laoghaire Karl Gill PBPA Dave O’Keeffe
Dundrum Catherine Martin GP, Karen Furlong GP* Karen Furlong GP, Daniel Dunne GP
Glencullen-Sandyford Neale Richmond FG Emma Blain
Killiney-Shankill Maria Bailey FG Jim Gildea
Stillorgan Josepha Madigan FG, Gerry Horkan FF, Richard Humphreys LAB, Carron McKinney LAB* John Kennedy FG, Donal Smith FF, Carron McKinney LAB, Alex White LAB
Fingal County
Balbriggan JP Browne FG, Ken Farrell LAB, David O’Connor IND Tom O’Leary FG, Robert O’Donoghue LAB, Cathal Boland IND
Castleknock Jack Chambers FF Howard Mahony
Mulhuddart Ruth Coppinger AAA, Annette Hughes AAA Matthew Waine, Tania Doyle
Swords Philip Lynam SF
South Dublin County
Clondalkin Eoin O Broin SF, Gino Kenny PBPA Mark Ward SF, Madeleine Johansson PBP
Tallaght Central Maire Devine SF Cora McCann
Tallaght South Nicky Coules PBPA  Emma Hendrick
Templeogue Terenure Colm Brophy FG, Fintan Warfield SF, Enda Fanning SF* Brian Lawlor FG, Enda Fanning SF, Robert Russell SF
Rathfarnham John Lahart FF, Anne-Marie Dermody FG Emma Murphy FF, Conor McMahon FG
Galway City
Galway City Central Anna Marley SF Mark Lohan
Galway City East
Galway City West Catherine Connolly IND Colette Connolly
Galway County
Loughrea Anne Rabbitte FF Ivan Canning
Tuam Michael Fitzmaurice IND, Sean Canney IND Des Joyce IND, Billy Connelly IND
Killarney Danny Healy-Rae IND Maura Healy-Rae
Listowel John Brassil FF, Dianne Nolan SF John Lucid FF, Tom Barry SF
South and West Kerry
Athy Mark Dalton IND (formerly FF) Brian Dooley FF
Celbridge-Leixlip Frank O’Rourke FF Michael Coleman
Kildare-Newbridge Willie Crowley IND, Fiona O’Loughlin FF Morgan McCabe IND, Murty Aspell FF
Naas Willie Callaghan FF, James Lawless FF Deborah Callaghan, Carmel Kelly
Kilkenny City-East
Kilkenny City-West Kathleen Funchion SF Sean Tyrell
Borris in Ossory-Mountmellick
Portlaoise Jerry Lodge FF Pauline Madigan
Ballinamore Martin Kenny SF Caroline Gildea
Limerick City East Shane Clifford FF Joe Pond
Limerick City North Joe Crowley FF, Maurice Quinlivan SF, Cian Prendiville SOL Vivienne Crowley FF, John Costelloe SF, Mary Cahillane SOL
Limerick City West Maria Byrne FG Elenora Hogan FG
Adare-Rathkeale Tom Neville FG Adam Teskey
Newcastle West
Granard John Duffy FG Gerry Hagan
Longford Padraig Loughrey FF Joe Flaherty
Drogheda Imelda Munster SF, Alan Cassidy SF Joanna Byrne, David Saurin
Dundalk-Carlingford Jim Loughran SF Antoin Watters
Dundalk-South Declan Breathnach FF, Kevin Meenan SF, Jennifer Green SF Emma Coffey FF, Ruairi O Murchu SF, Anne Campbell SF
Castlebar Lisa Chambers FF, Therese Ruane SF Martin McLoughlin FF, Joe McHale SF
West Mayo Rose Conway Walsh SF Teresa Whelan
Ashbourne Sean Smith FF
Navan Shane Cassells FF, Joe Reilly SF Padraig Fitzsimons FF, Edward Fennessy SF
Ballybay-Clones Eugene Bannigan FG, Ciara McPhillips FG, Eva Humphreys FG Sean Gilliland FG, Eva Humphreys FG, Richard Truell FG
Carrickmacross-Castleblaney Matt Carthy SF Colm Carthy
Monaghan Robbie Gallagher FF Raymond Aughey
Birr Carol Nolan SF Sean Maher
Tullamore Sinead Dooley FF  Tony McCormack FF
Athlone (Roscommon)
Boyle Eugene Murphy FF, Maura Hopkins FG Joe Murphy FF, Liam Callaghan FG
Ballymote-Tubbercurry Eamon Scanlon FF Keith Henry
Sligo Seamus O’Boyle PBPA, Sean McManus SF Gino O’Boyle PBPA, Chris MacManus SF
Carrick-on-Suir John Fahy FG
Templemore-Thurles Willie Kennedy IND (Lowry IND), Jackie Cahill FF Eddie Moran IND, Sean Ryan FF
Waterford City East John Carey FG
Waterford City South
Tramore-Waterford City West
Comeragh Mary Butler FF Ray Murphy
Athlone (Westmeath) Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran IND Ailish McManus
Mullingar-Coole Peter Burke FG, Aidan Davitt FF Emily Wallace FG, Bill Collentine FF
Mullingar-Kilbeggan Paul Daly FF, Avril Whitney FF Liam McDaniel FF, Brian Crum FF
Enniscorthy James Browne FG Willie Kavanagh
New Ross
Wexford Fergie Kehoe FF, Deirdre Wadding PBPA Lisa McDonald FF, Tony Walsh PBPA
Bray John Brady SF Michael O’Connor
Wicklow Pat Kavanagh IND, Pat Casey FF Mary Kavanagh IND, Gail Dunne FF

Table 1: Successful 2014 Local Election candidates, who have stood down from City/County Councils or who have passed away, and the new Councillors who have been co-opted to replace them (Updated: 25th June 2018)

* Was co-opted to replace a Councillor, but then stood down/was replaced themselves some time later

In addition to the series of co-options, as outlined/discussed above, there has also been some changes in political party/grouping affiliations involving Councillors who were elected in June 2014. I estimate that, at present, at least 55 Councillors (5.8% of the total) would fall into this category. 15 female Councillors fall into this category; a number that accounts for 27.8% of the total number of Councillors in this particular grouping and which is equivalent to 7.6% of the number of female Councillors who were elected in 2014. (By contrast, 5.3% of the number of the male Councillors who were elected in 2014 (or subsequently co-opted) have changed their political party/political grouping since June 2014.) At least three other Councillors left a certain political party/grouping, but later on returned to that same party/grouping, including Gerry Warnock, Patrick McKee, and James Charity.

A number of Councillors in this grouping could be classed as “selection defections” – Councillors who left their political parties after failing to win a nomination to contest the 2016 General Election for that party.  A number of changes of political affiliation also occurred in the wake of the founding of the new Social Democrat and Renua Ireland political parties in 2015. More recently (November/December 2018), a number of Councillors have joined the ranks of Deputy Peadar Tóibín’s emerging new political grouping/new political party. A number of the Councillors who defected to Renua in 2015 subsequently left the party in the run up to, or in the wake of, the 2016 election, as in the cases of Galway councillor, James Charity, Patrick McKee (Kilkenny) and Keith Redmond (Fingal).

One of the main impacts of these changes of Councillor political affiliations has been to change the number of City or County Council members associated with different political parties or groupings. As of now, I estimate that the number of City or County Council seats held by different political parties or groupings stands as follows:

  • Fianna Fail: 263
  • Fine Gael: 234
  • Independents/Non Party: 208 (Including at least 2 Independents4Change)
  • Sinn Fein: 145
  • Labour Party: 47
  • Anti Austerity Alliance (Solidarity)-People Before Profit: 23 (Anti Austerity Alliance (Solidarity) 12, People Before Profit 11)
  • Green Party: 12 
  • Social Democrats: 7
  • New 32-County Peoples Movement (Peadar Tóibín grouping/new party): 7
  • Renua Ireland: 2
  • Workers Party: 2

In the fluctuating political climate leading up to the next local elections in 2019 (and possibly another general election before this), further changes of political allegiance are likely – and some of these I may well not be aware of yet! – but I will update these figures, as and when I become aware of further changes.


About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer at the Maynooth University Department of Geography. Email:
This entry was posted in Gender, Local Elections 2014 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to City and County Council Members – Co-options and Changes since the 2014 Local Elections

  1. Jonathan Davey says:

    Lisa McDonald was coopted to Fergie Kehoes seat in Wexford, also Maura Hopkins left a vacancy in Roscommon, not sure who filled that though. On 6 Jul 2016 19:25, “Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses” wrote:

    > Adrian Kavanagh posted: “Adrian Kavanagh, 6th July 2016 The 2014 Local > Elections resulted in the election of 949 City and County Councillors. > Since that election, I have estimated that 76 of the successful candidates > in these elections have either stood down – in most cases, due” >

    • Thanks. For some reason I’d forgotten to include Sen. Maura Hopkins on the list. Liam Callaghan replaced her on Roscommon County Council.

      I knew Lisa McDonald was one of the candidates contesting the Fianna Fail Wexford co-option but had not realised that had been decided yet…

    • Thanks. I had not realised that a decision had been made on the Wexford Fianna Fail co-option yet. I see that this took place on 30th June
      For some reason, I left Sen Maura Hopkins off the list, but her co-option on Roscommon County Council was Liam Callaghan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s