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 129 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. 88 of the former Councillors in this group are male (68.2%) and 41 are female (31.8%).

As Table 1 shows, 84 (66.7%) of the co-options/new Councillors are male, while 42 are female (33.3%). 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 198, just one more than the number of female Councillors elected at the 2014 elections (197).

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 17 of the co-opted Councillors would fall into this group, amounting to 14.0% 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), Tipperary (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 AreaStanding Down/DeceasedCo-option/
CarlowJennifer Murnane O’Connor FF, Anne Ahern FFKen Murnane FF,
Andrea Dalton FF
Bailieborough-CootehillNiamh Smyth FFSarah O’Reilly FF (then Aontú)
Cavan-BelturbertEugene Greenan SF Daniel Downey
West Clare
Cork County
Ballincollig-CarrigalineDonnchadh O Laoghaire SFEoghan Jeffers
Bandon-KinsaleTim Lombard FGAidan Lombard
Blarney-MacroomAindrias Moynihan FF, Des O’Grady SFGobnait Moynihan FF, Ronnie Morley SF
CobhClaire Cullinane IND Diarmuid Ó Cadhla PC 
East CorkPat Buckley SF, Aaron O’Sullivan FFDanielle Twomey SF, Michael Ahern FF
FermoyKevin O’Keeffe FFDeirdre O’Brien
Kanturk-MallowDan Joe Fitzgerald FF, Daniel Fitzgerald FF*Daniel Fitzgerald, Gearóid Murphy
West CorkMichael Collins IND, Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony FF, Noel O’Donovan FGDanny Collins IND, Gillian Coughlan FF, John O’Sullivan FG
Cork City
Cork City North CentralMick Barry AAAFiona Ryan
Cork City North East
Cork City North West
Cork City South Central
Cork City South East
Cork City South West
DonegalSean McEniff FF, John Campbell INMicheál Naughton FF, Seamus Maguire IND
Letterkenny Mick Quinn SFAdrian Glackin
InishowenJohn Ryan FGMickey Doherty
Dublin City
Ballyfermot-DrimnaghBrid Smith PBPHazel de Nortuin
BallymunNoel Rock FGNorma Sammon
Beaumont-DonaghmedeDenise Mitchell SFEdel Moran
ClontarfSean Haughey FFSean Paul Mahon
Crumlin-KimmageCatherine Ardagh FFMichael Mullooly
North Inner CityJonathan Dowdall SFGaye Fagan
Pembroke-South Dock
Rathgar-RathminesKate O’Connell FG, Jim O’Callaghan FFAnne Feeney FG, Claire O’Connor FF
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown
BlackrockVictor Boyhan INDAnne Colgan
Dun LaoghaireKarl Gill PBPADave O’Keeffe
DundrumCatherine Martin GP, Karen Furlong GP*Karen Furlong GP, Daniel Dunne GP
Glencullen-SandyfordNeale Richmond FGEmma Blain
Killiney-ShankillMaria Bailey FGJim Gildea
StillorganJosepha 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
BalbrigganJP Browne FG,
Ken Farrell LAB,
David O’Connor IND
Tom O’Leary FG,
Robert O’Donoghue LAB, Cathal Boland IND
CastleknockJack Chambers FFHoward Mahony
MulhuddartRuth Coppinger AAA, Annette Hughes AAAMatthew Waine, Tania Doyle
SwordsPhilip Lynam SFAnn Graves SF
South Dublin County
ClondalkinEoin O Broin SF, Gino Kenny PBPAMark Ward SF, Madeleine Johansson PBP
Tallaght CentralMaire Devine SFCora McCann
Tallaght SouthNicky Coules PBPA Emma Hendrick
Templeogue TerenureColm Brophy FG, Fintan Warfield SF, Enda Fanning SF*Brian Lawlor FG, Enda Fanning SF, Robert Russell SF
RathfarnhamJohn Lahart FF, Anne-Marie Dermody FGEmma Murphy FF, Conor McMahon FG
Galway City
Galway City CentralAnna Marley SFMark Lohan
Galway City East
Galway City WestCatherine Connolly INDColette Connolly
Galway County
LoughreaAnne Rabbitte FF,
Michael Fahy FF (formerly IND)
Ivan Canning
TuamMichael Fitzmaurice IND, Sean Canney INDDes Joyce IND, Billy Connelly IND
KillarneyDanny Healy-Rae INDMaura Healy-Rae
ListowelJohn Brassil FF, Dianne Nolan SFJohn Lucid FF, Tom Barry SF
South and West Kerry
AthyMark Dalton IND (formerly FF)Brian Dooley FF
Celbridge-LeixlipFrank O’Rourke FFMichael Coleman
Kildare-NewbridgeWillie Crowley IND, Fiona O’Loughlin FFMorgan McCabe IND, Murty Aspell FF
NaasWillie Callaghan FF, James Lawless FFDeborah Callaghan, Carmel Kelly
Kilkenny City-East
Kilkenny City-WestKathleen Funchion SFSean Tyrell
Borris in Ossory-Mountmellick
PortlaoiseJerry Lodge FFPauline Madigan
BallinamoreMartin Kenny SFCaroline Gildea
Limerick City EastShane Clifford FFJoe Pond
Limerick City NorthJoe Crowley FF, Maurice Quinlivan SF, Cian Prendiville SOLVivienne Crowley FF, John Costelloe SF, Mary Cahillane SOL
Limerick City WestMaria Byrne FGElenora Hogan FG
Adare-RathkealeTom Neville FGAdam Teskey
Newcastle West
GranardJohn Duffy FGGerry Hagan
LongfordPadraig Loughrey FFJoe Flaherty
DroghedaImelda Munster SF, Alan Cassidy SFJoanna Byrne, David Saurin
Dundalk-CarlingfordJim Loughran SFAntoin Watters
Dundalk-SouthDeclan Breathnach FF, Kevin Meenan SF, Jennifer Green SFEmma Coffey FF, Ruairi O Murchu SF, Anne Campbell SF
CastlebarLisa Chambers FF,
Therese Ruane SF
Martin McLoughlin FF, Joe McHale SF
West MayoRose Conway Walsh SFTeresa Whelan SF
AshbourneSean Smith FF
NavanShane Cassells FF,
Joe Reilly SF
Padraig Fitzsimons FF, Edward Fennessy SF
Ballybay-ClonesEugene Bannigan FG,
Ciara McPhillips FG,
Eva Humphreys FG
Sean Gilliland FG,
Eva Humphreys FG,
Richard Truell FG
Carrickmacross-CastleblaneyMatt Carthy SFColm Carthy
MonaghanRobbie Gallagher FFRaymond Aughey
BirrCarol Nolan SFSean Maher SF
EdenderryMartin O’Reilly SFAlan Davy SF
TullamoreSinead Dooley FF Tony McCormack FF
Athlone (Roscommon)
BoyleEugene Murphy FF,
Maura Hopkins FG
Joe Murphy FF,
Liam Callaghan FG
Ballymote-TubbercurryEamon Scanlon FF,
Margaret Gormley IND
Keith Henry FF
SligoSeamus O’Boyle PBPA,
Sean McManus SF
Gino O’Boyle PBPA,
Chris MacManus SF
Carrick-on-SuirEddie O’Meara IND,
John Fahy FG
Michael O’Meara IND, Mark Fitzgerald FG
Templemore-ThurlesWillie Kennedy IND (Lowry IND),
Jackie Cahill FF
Eddie Moran IND,
Sean Ryan FF
Waterford City EastJohn Carey FG,
Mary Roche IND
Sharon Carey FG,
Matt Shanahan IND
Waterford City South
Tramore-Waterford City West
ComeraghMary Butler FFRay Murphy FF
Athlone (Westmeath)Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran INDAilish McManus IND
Mullingar-CoolePeter Burke FG,
Aidan Davitt FF
Emily Wallace FG,
Bill Collentine FF
Mullingar-KilbegganPaul Daly FF,
Avril Whitney FF
Liam McDaniel FF,
Brian Crum FF
EnniscorthyJames Browne FGWillie Kavanagh
New RossOisín O’Connell SFMarie Doyle
WexfordFergie Kehoe FF,
Deirdre Wadding PBPA, 
Anthony Kelly SF
Lisa McDonald FF,
Tony Walsh PBPA,
Thomas Forde SF
BrayJohn Brady SF,
Michael O’Connor SF
Michael O’Connor SF,
Dermot O’Brien SF
WicklowPat Kavanagh IND, Pat Casey FFMary 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 62 Councillors (6.5% of the total) would fall into this category. 18 female Councillors fall into this category; a number that accounts for 29.0% of the total number of Councillors in this particular grouping and which is equivalent to 9.1%of the number of female Councillors who were elected in 2014. (By contrast, 5.9% 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 four 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), Ronan McMahon (Templeogue-Terenure) 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 are as follows:

  • Fianna Fail: 265
  • Fine Gael: 234
  • Independents/Non Party: 213 (Including at least 2 Independents4Change)
  • Sinn Fein: 141
  • Labour Party: 46
  • Anti Austerity Alliance (Solidarity)-People Before Profit: 22 (Anti Austerity Alliance (Solidarity) 12, People Before Profit 10)
  • Green Party: 12 
  • Aontú: 7
  • Social Democrats: 7
  • Workers Party: 2
  • Renua Ireland: 1

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.

6 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

  2. James says:

    Any updates on these numbers Adrian? Lynam swords replaced by Graves

    • To be quite honest, I can only update these figures when I become aware of changes (and once I do, then I try to do so asap…) but if I don’t know/haven’t heard, then I…can’t!
      In this case, I hadn’t realised that someone had been appointed to replace Philip Lynam, until now.
      (Maybe I should have double checked this earlier, but I do have a very busy full time job to keep me going, in addition to trying to keep other pages on this site updated…)
      Thank you, I will update figures when I get a chance

      • James says:

        Hi Adrian, wasn’t having a go at all. You have a great website here keep it up. I want to use it as a reference to co option figures as it is something I want to get of.

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