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Fine Gael loses two seats in Castlebar as elected independent says people there 'go to bed hungry'

Michael Kilcoyne was elected on the first count, almost doubling the quota. A recount has been called and will take place tomorrow afternoon.

Source: Órla Ryan/TheJournal.ie

Updated: 1.15 am

INDEPENDENT COUNCILLOR MICHAEL Kilcoyne has denounced Taoiseach Enda Kenny, saying that it is “a sad reflection” on the Taoiseach that people in his constituency of Castlebar go to bed hungry.

He said the shift towards non-government candidates is a “vote for change”.

Kilcoyne was elected on the first count with 2,919 votes, well above the quota of 1,711 votes. He was the first councillor in Ireland to be elected today, something he described as “a great honour”.

Two Fine Gael councillors, Eugene Lavin and Eugene McCormack, have lost their seats in the area.

“People are suffering terrible hardships at the moment. I’ve been an independent councillor for the last ten years. I hold a clinic every Saturday. I’d see 25 – 30 people telling me what it’s like and how the austerity that has been imposed by this government affects them, from the loss of medical cards to being chased by social welfare inspectors.”

People were told three years ago in this same building that things would be different. People had a dream and it was shattered by Fine Gael and Labour. People have taken charge today, they have voted for change. This is only the beginning.

After the sixth count, Lisa Chambers of Fianna Fáil and Therese Ruane of Sinn Féin were elected to the Castlebar ward, leaving six candidates and five seats to fill.

Shortly after 11 pm, the five remaining seats were filled, without any of the candidates reaching the quota. Cyril Burke (Fine Gael) received 1647 votes, Frank Durcan (Independent) 1665 votes, Blackie Gavin (Fianna Fáil) 1539, Henry Kenny (Fine Gael) 1678, and Al McDonnell (Fianna Fáil) 1681.

The first count for Ballina was delayed for several hours due to “discrepancies” and a recount will take place tomorrow at the request of independent candidate Enda Lavelle. No one was elected.

The Claremorris count is currently underway. The West Mayo count has been deferred until 10am tomorrow.

Originally published: 22.48

Keep up to date: LIVEBLOG: Local election results 2014

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Órla Ryan

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