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Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and women candidates big election winners in Kildare

Sinn Fein candidate Sorcha O'Neill was hoisted onto the shoulders of her supporters after her election on the first count to the Naas Municipal District at Punchestown Count Centre last Saturday. Photo: Tony Keane

Sinn Fein candidate Sorcha O'Neill was hoisted onto the shoulders of her supporters after her election on the first count to the Naas Municipal District at Punchestown Count Centre last Saturday. Photo: Tony Keane

Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and women are the big winners in the 2014 election to Kildare County Council.

After a marathon count that only ended as the dawn chorus got going in the early hours of Monday morning, it emerged that 10 out of the 40 new councillors are women.

Fianna Fail topped the polls in all but one of the five Districts, and where they didn’t, in the Maynooth District, they got a third of the seats on offer.

From a base of zero councillors, Sinn Fein now have five seats, three of them women and four of them newcomers.

There was also a strong surge in independents, and it was clear in the more urban constituencies that voters were picking independents of any stripe over those affiliated to any parties.

Hence the success of Willie Crowley, Anthony Larkin, Paddy Kennedy, Padraig McEvoy and Brendan Young.Elsewhere Fine Gael did worst out of the lot. They lost sitting councillors Richard Daly and Seamus Langan.

Labour lost Colm Purcell, but managed to hold up well in the Athy District bringing in two, including that area’s first ever woman to be returned to a full county council.

It finished with 12 Fianna Fail, nine Independents, nine Fine Gael, five Labour and five Sinn Fein - and with those changes, it’s believed the council will have a different tone in the coming five years.

For full 2014 local election coverage, see pages 18 - 22 of this week’s Leinster Leader.

Review our live blog of the election count from Punchestown, as it happened, at www.leinsterleaderelections.blogspot.ie.

 

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