City and County Council Members – Co-options and Changes since the 2019 Local Elections

Adrian Kavanagh, 2nd September 2019 (with subsequent updates – latest update: 28 June 2020)

The 2019 Local Elections resulted in the election of 949 City and County Councillors. Since that election took place on 24th May 2019, I have estimated that at least 66 of the successful candidates in these elections have either stood down, been “promoted”, or have sadly passed away. Moreover, at least one of the new Councillors co-opted to replace these Councillors have themselves resigned from their new role, bringing the total number of City/County Councllors who have either stood down, been “promoted”, or have sadly passed away up to 67 (7.06% of the total number).

45 of the former Councillors in this group are male (67.2%) and 22 are female (32.8%).

Up to the election of a new Taoiseach on 27th June 2020, 26 (44.1%) of the co-options/new Councillors had been male, while 33 were female (55.9%). This meant that by that date the total number of female City and County Councillors had increased notably (relative to the number of female candidates elected at the May 2019 elections); going from 226 (23.8% of total number of Councillors elected at the 2019 Local Elections) to 243 (25.6% of total number of City/County Councillors, at that point). With a large number (six) of female Councillors featuring among the Taoiseach’s nominees to the Seanad (as announced on 27th June 2020), the overall number of female City/County Councillors, as of now, has fallen back to 237 (25.2% of the total number of City/County Councillors, as of now). This number of female Councillors may increase again after the co-options to replace the Taoiseach’s nominees on different City and County Council have been decided on.

As of now, a large proportion of this group of former Councillors are people who were “promoted” to take up positions in Dáil or Seanad Eireann. One of these Councillors stood down due to being elected to the European Parliament on the same day as the County and City Council elections in May 2019, while two other Councillors were elected for two different electoral areas at these elections and, hence, had to stand down as Councillor for one of these electoral areas. In all, 60 of the former Councillors (90.9% of the total number) fall into this group of “promoted”, or “elected for two seats”, Councillors.

Electoral AreasSeatsPromoted/Stood Down/DeceasedCo-option 
Carlow18
Carlow7
Tullow6
Muinebeag5
Cavan18
Bailieborough-Cootehill6
Ballyjamesduff6
Cavan-Belturbert6
Clare28
Ennis7
Killaloe5
Shannon7Mike McKee SF (RIP), Cathal Crowe FFDonna McGettigan SF, Pat O’Gorman FF.
Ennistymon4Róisín Garvey GP
Kilrush5
Cork County55
Carrigaline6
Bandon-Kinsale6
Macroom6
Cobh6Padraig O’Sullivan FFSheila O’Callaghan FF
Midleton7James O’Connor FFAnne Marie Ahern FF
Fermoy6
Kanturk4
Mallow5
Bantry-West Cork4Holly Cairns SocDemRoss O’Connell SocDem
Skibbereen-West Cork5Christopher O’Sullivan FFDeirdre Kelly FF
Cork City31
Cork City North East6
Cork City North West6Thomas Gould SFMick Nugent
Cork City South Central6
Cork City South East6
Cork City South West7
Donegal37
Donegal6
Glenties6
Milford3
Buncrana5
Letterkenny7Manus Kelly FF (RIP)Donal Kelly FF
Carndonagh4
Lifford-Stranorlar6
Dublin City63
Ballyfermot-Drimnagh5
Ballymun-Finglas6Paul McAuliffe FFBreege Mac Oscair FF
Artane-Whitehall6
Donaghmede5Lawrence Hemmings GPDearbhail Butler GP
Cabra-Glasnevin7Neasa Hourigan GP, Gary Gannon SocDem, Marie Sherlock LAB, Mary Fitzpatrick FFKath O’Driscoll SocDem, Darcey Lonergan GP, Declan Meenagh LAB
Clontarf6
Kimmage-Rathmines6Patrick Costello GPCarolyn Moore GP
North Inner City7Ciaran Cuffe GPJanet Horner GP
South West Inner City5Rebecca Moynihan LABDarragh Moriarty LAB
South East Inner City5Chris Andrews SFDaniel Ceitinn SF
Pembroke5
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown40
Blackrock6Barry Ward FGMaurice Dockrell FG
Dún Laoghaire7John Bailey FG (RIP), Cormac Devlin FF, Ossian Smyth GPMary Fayne FG, Justin Moylan FF, Tom Kivlehan GP
Dundrum7
Glencullen-Sandyford7
Killiney-Shankill7Jennifer Carroll-MacNeill FGFrank McNamara FG
Stillorgan6
Fingal County40
Balbriggan5Joe O’Brien GPKaren Power GP
Rush Lusk5
Castleknock6Roderic O’Gorman GP, Emer Currie FGPamela Conroy GP
Howth-Malahide7Cian O’Callaghan SocDemJoan Hopkins SocDem
Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart5
Ongar5Paul Donnelly SFAaron O’Rourke SF
Swords7Duncan Smith LABJames Humphreys LAB
South Dublin County40
Clondalkin7Emer Higgins FG
Palmerstown-Fonthill5Mark Ward SFLisa Kinsella-Colman
Lucan5
Tallaght Central6
Tallaght South5
Rathfarnham-Templeogue7Mary Seery Kearney FG
Firhouse-Bohernabreena5Francis Duffy GP
Galway City18
Galway City Central6Ollie Crowe FFImelda Byrne FF
Galway City East6
Galway City West6Pauline O’Reilly GPNiall Murphy GP
Galway County39
Athenry-Oranmore7
Gort Kinvara5
Ballinasloe6Aisling Dolan FG (formerly IND)
Conamara North4
Conamara South5
Loughrea5
Tuam7
Kerry33
Killarney7
Listowel6
An Daingean3
Kenmare6
Castleisland4
Tralee7Toireasa Ferris SF, Norma Foley FF, Pa Daly SFCathal Foley SF, Johnnie Wall FF, Deirdre Ferris SF
Kildare40
Athy5Mark Wall LABMark Leigh LAB
Celbridge4
Leixlip3
Maynooth5
Clane5
Kildare5Patricia Ryan SFNoel Connolly SF
Newbridge6
Naas7Vincent P Martin GP
Kilkenny24
Castlecomer6
Kilkenny 7Malcolm Noonan GPMaria Dollard GP
Callan-Thomastown6
Piltown5
Laois19
Borris in Ossory-Mountmellick6
Graiguecullen-Portarlington6
Portlaoise7
Leitrim18
Ballinamore6
Carrick-on-Shannon6
Manorhamilton6
Limerick40
Limerick City East7
Limerick City North7Brian Leddin GPSaša Novak Uí Chonchúir GP
Limerick City West7
Adare-Rathkeale6Richard O’Donoghue INDJohn O’Donoghue IND
Cappamore-Kilmallock7
Newcastle West6
Longford18
Ballymahon6
Granard5Michael Carrigy FGColin Dalton FG
Longford7Joe Flaherty FFRemu Adejinmi FF
Louth29
Ardee6
Drogheda Urban6
Drogheda Rural4Kevin Callan IND, Oliver Tully FG (RIP)Declan Power IND (ex FF), Eileen Tully FG
Dundalk-Carlingford6John McGahon FG, Erin McGreechan FF
Dundalk-South7Ruairí Ó Murchú SFKevin Meenan SF
Mayo30
Ballina6
Castlebar7
Claremorris6
Swinford4
Belmullet3
Westport4
Meath40
Ashbourne6Sharon Keogan IND, Darren O’Rourke SFAmanda Smith IND, Aisling Ó Néill SF
Kells7Johnny Guirke SFMichael Gallagher SF
Laytown-Bettystown7Annie Hoey LAB, Sharon Keogan INDElaine McGinty LAB, Geraldine Keogan IND
Navan7
Ratoath7
Trim6
Monaghan18
Ballybay-Clones5
Carrickmacross-Castleblaney6
Monaghan7
Offaly19
Birr6
Edenderry6Pippa Hackett GPMark Hackett GP
Tullamore7
Roscommon18
Athlone (Roscommon)6
Boyle 6
Roscommon6
Sligo18
Ballymote-Tobercurry7
Sligo-Drumcliffe5
Sligo-Strandhill6
Tipperary40
Carrick-on-Suir5
Cahir4
Cashel-Tipperary7
Clonmel6Garret Ahearn FGJohn Fitzgerald FG
Nenagh5
Newport4
Roscrea-Templemore4
Thurles5
Waterford32
Waterford City East6Matt Shanahan INDMary Roche IND
Waterford City South6John Cummins FGFrank Quinlan FG
Tramore-Waterford City West6Marc O Cathasaigh GP, Laura Swift GP*Laura Swift GP, Susan Gallagher GP
Portlaw-Kilmacthomas5
Dungarvan6
Lismore3
Westmeath20
Athlone (Westmeath)5
Moate4
Mullingar  6
Kinnegad5
Wexford34
Gorey6Malcolm Byrne FFAndrew Bolger FF
Kilmuckridge4
Enniscorthy6
New Ross6
Rosslare5
Wexford7
Wicklow32
Arklow6
Baltinglass6
Bray East4Steven Matthews GPErika Doyle GP
Bray West4
Greystones6Jennifer Whitmore SocDemJodie Neary SocDem
Wicklow6

As of now, the largest number of co-options by political party involves the Green Party, with 17 Green Party Councillors having stood down from their Council seats. With the exceptions of Laura Swift and Lawrence Hemmings, all of these former Green Party councillors stood down in order to take up seats on the European Parliament, or to take up seats in Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann. This means that 30% of the Green Party Councillors elected in May 2019 have gone on to secure “higher electoral office” in Europe or in Leinster House.

The next highest number of co-options involving a political party/grouping involves Fianna Fáil (13), followed by Fine Gael (11) and Sinn Féin (11).

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 May 2019. I estimate that, at present, at least Councillors (0.74% of the total) would fall into this category. female Councillors falls into this category; a number that accounts for 25.0% of the total number of Councillors in this particular grouping and which is equivalent to 0.88% of the number of female Councillors who were elected in 2019. (By contrast, 0.69% of the number of the male Councillors who were elected in 2019 (or subsequently co-opted) have changed their political party/political grouping since June 2019.)

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 Fáil 277, Fine Gael 254, Independents/Non Party and Other 198 (including Independents 4 Change (3), Workers and Unemployed Action (1), Independent Left (1), Kerry Independent Alliance (1)), Sinn Féin 81, Labour Party 55, Green Party 50, Social Democrats 18, Solidarity-People Before Profit 11 (People Before Profit 7, Solidarity 4), Aontú 3, Workers Party 1, Republican Sinn Féin 1.

In the fluctuating political climate leading up to the next local elections in 2024, further changes of political allegiance are almost guaranteed – 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.

Figure 1: Number of female City/County Councllors by party/grouping, 25 June 2020
Figure 1: Number of female City/County Councllors by party/grouping, 25 June 2020

As a result of the co-options and changes of party/grouping that have taken place since May 2019, the number of female City/County Councillors have increased for the Green Party (by eight), Fianna Fáil (by four) and for Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, Social Democrats and the Independents grouping (by one). The current numbers of female Councillors by party/grouping (as estimated on 7th October 2019) may be viewed in Figure 1.

Figure 2: Females as a percentage of the total number City/County Councillors in different political paties/groupings, 25 June 2020
Figure 2: Females as a percentage of the total number City/County Councillors in different political paties/groupings, 25 June 2020

The significant increase in the number of female Green Party Councillors due to the co-options immediately following on General Election 2020 means that there are now four parties/groupings which have more female Councillors than male Councillors; Aontú, Solidarity-People Before Profit, the Social Democrats and the Green Party.

About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer at the Maynooth University Department of Geography. Email: adrian.p.kavanagh@mu.ie
This entry was posted in Candidates Local Elections 2019, Local Elections 2019 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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