Adrian Kavanagh, 2nd September 2019 (with subsequent updates – latest update: 17 January 2022)
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 85 of the successful candidates in these elections have either stood down, been “promoted”, or have sadly passed away. Moreover, at least six 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 91 (9.38% of the total number).
61 of the former Councillors in this group are male (67.0%) and 30 are female (33.0%).
38 (45.8%) of the co-options/new Councillors are male, while 45 are female (54.2%). This means that the total number of female City and County Councillors has 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 241 (25.6% of the total number of City/County Councillors, at this point).
(The number of female City/County Councillors had increased to 243 by June 2020. However, with a large number (six) of female County/City Councillors featuring among the Taoiseach’s nominees to the Seanad (as announced on 27th June 2020), the overall number of female City/County Councillors fell back to 237 (25.2% of the total number of City/County Councillors, at that point). The number of female Councillors did increase again, somewhat, after the co-options to replace the Taoiseach’s nominees on different City and County Council have been decided on, as has been the case with the cooptions of Andrea McKevitt (Fianna Fáil, Dundalk-Carlingford) and Evelyn Parson (Independent, Ballinasloe).)
In the year immediately, most of the people in this group of former Councillors would have been people who were “promoted” to take up positions in Dáil or Seanad Eireann, but in 2021 and 2022 a larger proportion of these were accounted for by Councillors who were standing down due to an inability to balance the demands of being a Councillor with their own job/career. 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, 61 of the former Councillors (68.5% of the former Councillors grouping) fall into this group of “promoted”, or “elected for two seats”, Councillors. Of the Councillors who stood down for personal/career reasons, there seems to be a disproportionate number of younger and “first time” Councillors in this grouping.
|Electoral Areas||Seats||Promoted/Stood Down/Deceased||Co-option|
|Shannon||7||Mike McKee SF, Cathal Crowe FF||Donna McGettigan SF, Pat O’Gorman FF.|
|Ennistymon||4||Róisín Garvey GP, Susan Crawford GP*||Susan Crawford GP, Liam Grant GP|
|Carrigaline||6||Aidan Lombard FG, Liam O’Connor FG||Michael Paul Murtagh FG, Jack White FG|
|Cobh||6||Padraig O’Sullivan FF||Sheila O’Callaghan FF|
|Midleton||7||James O’Connor FF||Anne Marie Ahern FF|
|Kanturk||4||Katie Murphy FG|
|Bantry-West Cork||4||Holly Cairns SocDem||Ross O’Connell SocDem|
|Skibbereen-West Cork||5||Christopher O’Sullivan FF||Deirdre Kelly FF|
|Cork City North East||6|
|Cork City North West||6||Thomas Gould SF||Mick Nugent SF|
|Cork City South Central||6|
|Cork City South East||6|
|Cork City South West||7|
|Letterkenny||7||Manus Kelly FF||Donal Kelly FF|
|Ballymun-Finglas||6||Paul McAuliffe FF||Breege Mac Oscair FF|
|Donaghmede||5||Lawrence Hemmings GP||Dearbhail Butler GP|
|Cabra-Glasnevin||7||Neasa Hourigan GP, Gary Gannon SocDem, Marie Sherlock LAB, Mary Fitzpatrick FF||Kath O’Driscoll SocDem, Darcey Lonergan GP, Declan Meenagh LAB, Eimer McCormack FF|
|Kimmage-Rathmines||6||Patrick Costello GP||Carolyn Moore GP|
|North Inner City||7||Ciaran Cuffe GP, Anthony Flynn IND||Janet Horner GP|
|South West Inner City||5||Rebecca Moynihan LAB||Darragh Moriarty LAB|
|South East Inner City||5||Chris Andrews SF||Daniel Ceitinn SF|
|Blackrock||6||Barry Ward FG||Maurice Dockrell FG|
|Dún Laoghaire||7||John Bailey FG, Cormac Devlin FF, Ossian Smyth GP||Mary Fayne FG, Justin Moylan FF, Tom Kivlehan GP|
|Glencullen-Sandyford||7||Deirdre Ní Fhloinn GP, Lynsey McGovern IND||Oisín O’Connor GP, Patricia Kinsella IND|
|Killiney-Shankill||7||Jennifer Carroll-MacNeill FG||Frank McNamara FG|
|Balbriggan||5||Joe O’Brien GP||Karen Power GP|
|Castleknock||6||Roderic O’Gorman GP, Emer Currie FG||Pamela Conroy GP, Siobhan Shovlin FG|
|Howth-Malahide||7||Cian O’Callaghan SocDem||Joan Hopkins SocDem|
|Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart||5||Freddie Cooper FF||JK Onwumereh FF|
|Ongar||5||Paul Donnelly SF, Aaron O Ruairc SF*||Aaron O Ruairc SF|
|Swords||7||Duncan Smith LAB||James Humphreys LAB|
|South Dublin County||40|
|Clondalkin||7||Emer Higgins FG||Shirley O’Hara FG|
|Palmerstown-Fonthill||5||Mark Ward SF|
Lisa Kinsella-Colman SF*
|Lisa Kinsella-Colman SF|
Derren Ó Brádaigh SF
|Rathfarnham-Templeogue||7||Mary Seery Kearney FG, William Priestley GP||Lynn McCrave FG, Laura Donaghy GP|
|Firhouse-Bohernabreena||5||Francis Duffy GP, Clare O’Byrne GP||Clare O’Byrne GP, Suzanne McEneaney GP|
|Galway City Central||6||Ollie Crowe FF||Imelda Byrne FF|
|Galway City East||6|
|Galway City West||6||Pauline O’Reilly GP||Niall Murphy GP|
|Ballinasloe||6||Aisling Dolan FG (formerly IND)||Evelyn Parsons IND|
|Loughrea||5||Pat Hynes IND||Declan Kelly IND|
|Killarney||7||Michael Gleeson Kerry Indepenent Alliance (KIA)||John O’Donoghue KIA|
|Tralee||7||Toireasa Ferris SF, Norma Foley FF, Pa Daly SF||Cathal Foley SF, Johnnie Wall FF, Deirdre Ferris SF|
|Athy||5||Mark Wall LAB||Mark Leigh LAB|
|Kildare||5||Patricia Ryan SF||Noel Connolly SF|
|Naas||7||Vincent P Martin GP||Colm Kenny GP|
|Kilkenny||7||Malcolm Noonan GP||Maria Dollard GP|
|Borris in Ossory-Mountmellick||6|
|Graiguecullen-Portarlington||6||Tom Mulhall FG||PJ Kelly FG|
|Portlaoise||7||Mary Sweeney FG|
|Limerick City East||7|
|Limerick City North||7||Brian Leddin GP||Saša Novak Uí Chonchúir GP|
|Limerick City West||7|
|Adare-Rathkeale||6||Richard O’Donoghue IND||John O’Donoghue IND|
|Granard||5||Michael Carrigy FG||Colin Dalton FG|
|Longford||7||Joe Flaherty FF||Remu Adejinmi FF|
|Ardee||6||Colm Markey FG, Hugh D Conlon IND||Paula Butterly FG, Bernadette Conlon IND|
|Drogheda Urban||6||Paul Bell LAB||Fiachra MacRaghnaill LAB|
|Drogheda Rural||4||Kevin Callan IND, Oliver Tully FG||Declan Power IND (ex FF), Eileen Tully FG|
|Dundalk-Carlingford||6||John McGahon FG, Erin McGreechan FF||John Reilly FG, Andrea McKevitt FF|
|Dundalk-South||7||Ruairí Ó Murchú SF||Kevin Meenan SF|
|Ashbourne||6||Sharon Keogan IND, Darren O’Rourke SF||Amanda Smith IND, Aisling Ó Néill SF|
|Kells||7||Johnny Guirke SF||Michael Gallagher SF|
|Laytown-Bettystown||7||Annie Hoey LAB, Sharon Keogan IND||Elaine McGinty LAB, Geraldine Keogan IND|
|Birr||6||John Leahy REN/IND (to step down some time in 2021)|
|Edenderry||6||Pippa Hackett GP||Mark Hackett GP|
|Athlone (Roscommon)||6||Ivan Connaughton IND||Emer Kelly IND|
|Clonmel||6||Garret Ahearn FG||John Fitzgerald FG|
|Thurles||5||Peter Ryan FG||Peggy Ryan FG|
|Waterford City East||6||Matt Shanahan IND||Mary Roche IND|
|Waterford City South||6||John Cummins FG||Frank Quinlan FG|
|Tramore-Waterford City West||6||Marc O Cathasaigh GP, Laura Swift GP*, Susan Gallagher GP*||Laura Swift GP, Susan Gallagher GP, Cristíona Kiely GP|
|Athlone (Westmeath)||5||Jamie Moran IND|
|Gorey||6||Malcolm Byrne FF||Andrew Bolger FF|
|Bray East||4||Steven Matthews GP||Erika Doyle GP|
|Greystones||6||Jennifer Whitmore SocDem||Jodie Neary SocDem|
As of now, the largest number of co-options by political party involves the Green Party, with 22 Green Party Councillors having stood down from their Council seats (36.7% of the number elected in May 2019). 16 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 30.6% 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 Fine Gael (16), followed by Fianna Fáil (13), Sinn Féin (12), Independents (10), Labour (6) and the Social Democrats (4).
The City Councils/County Councils that have seen the greatest numbers of cooptions since May 2019 are Dublin City (10), South Dublin County (7), Louth (7), Fingal (6), Meath (5), Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (5), Cork County (5) and Waterford (4).
The electoral areas/constituencies that have seen the greatest numbers of cooptions since May 2019 are Cabra-Glasnevin (4), Tralee (3), Dún Laoghaire (3), Castleknock (3), Tramore-Waterford City West (2), Shannon (2), Palmerstown-Fonthill (2), Rathfarnham-Templeogue (2), Firhouse-Bohernabreena (2), Glencullen-Sandyford (2), Ardee (2), Drogheda Rural (2), Dundalk-Carlingford (2), Ashbourne (2) and Laytown-Bettystown (2).
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 12 Councillors (1.26% of the total) would fall into this category. 2 female Councillors fall into this category; a number that accounts for 16.6% 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, 1.38% of the number of the male Councillors who were elected in 2019 (or subsequently co-opted) have changed their political party/political grouping since May 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 251, Independents/Non Party and Other 206 (including Independents 4 Change (3), Workers and Unemployed Action (1), Independent Left (1), Kerry Independent Alliance (1)), Sinn Féin 81, Labour Party 56, Green Party 46, Social Democrats 19, Solidarity-People Before Profit 11 (People Before Profit 7, Solidarity 4), Aontú 3, Workers Party 1, Republican Sinn Féin 1, Irish Democratic Party 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.
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.
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.
In the Dublin region, co-options have significantly increased the total number of female City/County Councillors in that region. At the May 2019 elections, 70 female candidates won seats (38.3%), as opposed to 113 male candidates. Since May 2019, 19 male Councillors and 10 female Councillors have stood down or have sadly passed away, or else been promoted to the Dáil/Seanad/European Parliament. By contrast, 18 of the cooptions to fill these vacancies (64.3%) have involved new female Councillors, as opposed to just 10 new male Councillors. This means that there are now 78 female Councillors (42.9% of the current total) across the Dublin region and 105 male Councillors at this point in time, with some vacancies still left to be filled.