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Finance Minister Michael McGrath (left) and his brother Councillor Seamus McGrath. Alamy Stock Photo
Local elections 2024

Fianna Fáil set to dominate Cork City Council after winning almost a third of the seats

The Labour Party is the other big winner after going from one seat to three in this weekend’s election.

NOW THAT THE dust has settled and the votes are counted, let’s take a look at the makeup of Cork City Council, where there were 31 seats up for grabs. 

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had been the major players following the 2019 local elections, holding eight and seven seats respectively.

This time, Fianna Fáil have come out on top overall with a total of nine candidates elected to the Council, an increase of one seat compared to 2019. Fine Gael came second with five seats, a drop from the seven it held last time round. Both parties are represented in all five wards. 

The Labour Party has significantly improved its representation on the Council, going from one seat to three, while the Social Democrats won their first seat on the Council.

Sinn Féin won four seats (no change) while the Green Party went from four to three.

People Before Profit and the Workers’ Party each secured one seat while another four went to independents. 

According to Fianna Fáil’s Colm Kelleher, who topped the poll, voters in Cork City were receptive to the party’s messaging on housing, which was that the Council had made significant progress in building new social houses.

Another factor was that the Council’s budget has increased and that has helped with services across the board. 

It’s still early days in terms of establishing the new power dynamics among the parties on the Council but Fianna Fáil will certainly be in a strong negotiating position as the dominant party when it comes to forming a majority (16 of the 31 seats). 

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how the parties did across the five different wards.

Cork City North East (6 seats)

The North East ward has a mixture of different parties with no party represented more than once. 

Labour’s John Maher was re-elected, as were independent Ken O’Flynn, Fine Gael’s Joe Kavanagh, the Workers’ Party’s Ted Tynan and Oliver Moran of the Green Party.

Margaret McDonnell of Fianna Fáil is the newcomer among the bunch. 

Cork City North West (6 seats)

As was the case in the North East, incumbents secured re-election for the most part.

Damian Boylan of Fine Gael, along with Tony Fitzgerald and John Sheehan of Fianna Fáil all retained their seats, as did Sinn Féin councillors Kenneth Collins and Michelle Gould.

Brian McCarthy of People Before Profit-Solidarity is the fresh face on the council in the North West.

Cork City South Central (6 seats)

finance-minister-michael-mcgrath-left-and-his-brother-councillor-seamus-mcgrath-right-at-cork-city-hall-in-cork-ireland-during-the-count-for-the-local-and-european-picture-date-saturday-june-8 Finance Minister Michael McGrath (left) and his brother Councillor Seamus McGrath. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Incumbents were the main winners again in the South Central area. 

Social Democrat Pádraig Rice is the newcomer and the only member of his party to win a seat on the Council overall after it had zero seats in the last term.  

Shane O’Callaghan of Fine Gael, Seán Martin of Fianna Fáil, Dan Boyle of the Green Party, independent Paudie Dineen and Sinn Féin’s Fiona Kerins all won re-election this weekend.

Cork City South East (6 seats): 

There are two new councillors in the South East area – Labour’s Peter Horgan and the Green Party’s Honore Kamegni.

Kammegni’s election is effectively a gain for the Greens in the South East because while they did get Lorna Bogue elected in 2019, she switched to Rabharta Glas and has run for a seat in the EU Parliament.

Terry Shannon and Mary Rose Desmond of Fianna Fáil were both re-elected, as were independent Kieran McCarthy and Des Cahill of Fine Gael.

Cork City South West (7 seats)

Of the seven seats in the South West area, Fianna Fáil have won three, through Fergal Dennehy and Colm Kelleher who were both re-elected and newcomer Terry Coleman. 

Garret Kelleher of Fine Gael retained his seat. 

Independent Albert Deasy, Sinn Féin’s Joe Lynch and Labour’s Laura Harmon are the other new faces on the Council in the South West.

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