Dublin’s 14 Sinn Féin councillors
1999 was a breakthrough year for Sinn Féin in Dublin as five new councillors joined Christy Burke in the council chamber. In Dublin City Council, Dessie Ellis, Larry O’Toole and Nicky Kehoe were elected in the Finglas, Artane and Cabra wards. In South Dublin, two new councillors were elected in 1999.
In 2004, Sinn Féin elected 14 councillors across Dublin: 10 in the City Council, where the party won 18% of the total vote. There were also three councillors voted onto South Dublin and the party’s first councillor in Fingal.
This time around, Sinn Féin is seeking to build on the 2004 performance, holding their 14 seats while expanding in other new council wards where candidates are bringing the party message to new voters who have not yet had a chance to vote for Sinn Féin in local elections.
Dublin City Council
There were 13 council wards in Dublin City and in 2004 Sinn Féin elected six more councillors with wins in wards such as Ballyfermot, where the party won 21.17% of first preferences. Councillor Louise Minihan is the party candidate in this key ward in 2009.
Running in Artane in the 2004 local elections, Larry O’Toole secured 4,497 of the first preference votes; 33% of the total votes cast in the Artane Ward. This was the second highest vote achieved by any candidate in the state. A huge vote getter and highly popular republican figure in Dublin, Larry is again running for Sinn Féin in Artane along with Denise Mitchell.
Ray Corcoran topped the poll in Ballymun Whitehall in 2004 with 24.2% of first preferences. Nicky Kehoe topped the poll in Cabra Glasnevin in 2004. This time, sitting Councillor Seamas McGrattan will try and repeat the 2004 performance.
Helen McCormack is the candidate in Clontarf, where Sinn Féin won just over 7% of first preferences in 2004. In Crumlin Kimmage, Sinn Féin elected a councillor on the third count, winning 16% of first preferences. Councillor Ray McHugh is running for Sinn Féin this time around.
Full-time councillor, and part-time skiing correspondent Killian Forde topped the poll in Donaghmede and was elected on the first count with 17.15% of first preferences so it will be interesting to see can he repeat the feat this time around.
Dessie Ellis was a poll-topper in Finglas and is aiming for his third consecutive council term this time. He took a massive 29.84% of first preferences while the second Sinn Féin candidate narrowly missed getting elected on the seventh count. Ray Corcoran is the second candidate this time around in the newly-created Finglas Ballymun ward.
Christy Burke, first elected to Dublin City Council in 1985 and seeking a fifth term on the council, also topped the poll in 2004 with 14.78% of first preferences. His running mate took 4.84% of the poll and this time around Ruadhán Mac Aodháin is looking to deliver the last seat and has a substantial and growing profile in the ward.
Sinn Féin took 3.47% of first preferences in Dublin 4’s Pembroke ward in 2004 and Oisin Dolan is the party standard bearer in the expanded Pembroke Rathmines ward.
Daithí Doolan was elected to Dublin’s South East Inner City ward on the fourth count in 2004 with 24.11% of first preferences while in the South West Inner City Sinn Féin took the last of three seats in the ward. Sitting Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, one of the hardest-working local representatives in the South City, is campaigning to hold the seat this time around.
Fingal CouncilIn Fingal, Sinn Féin took 5% of first preferences and its first seat in the Mulhuddart ward. The Mulhuddart count was a marathon in 2004 with the four councillors not elected until the 8th and 9th count. Sinn Féin topped the poll here in 2004 and Councillor Paul Donnelly is the Sinn Féin candidate in 2009.
Fergus Byrne is running in the Balbriggan ward for Sinn Féin and is also running for Balbriggan Town Council. There was no candidate in 2004 so this is new ground for the party. In Castleknock, the party won 4.64% of first preferences and Charlie Maples is the candidate this time.
Colm Ó Murchadha is the Howth
Malahide candidate for Sinn Féin where the party had 5.69% of the vote
in 2004. In Swords, where the party won just under 6% of the vote in
2004, Conor Kelly is the party candidate.
Sinn Féin’s breakthrough in South Dublin came in 1999 when Seán Crowe and Mark Daly were elected to the council. In 2004, three Sinn Féin councillors were elected in South Dublin.
In Clondalkin, Sinn Féin topped the poll, winning a seat on the first count in this five-seat ward with 2,421 votes and 17.07% of the vote. Matthew McDonagh joins sitting Councillor Shane O’Connor, the 2004 poll-topper, as the party try and win two seats this time. In Lucan, the party won 9.11% of the vote and Robert Ballesty is the current candidate.
Sorcha Nic Cormaic ran for Sinn Féin in the Terenure Rathfarnham ward in 2004 and is running again this time around, seeking to better her 6.44% of first preferences.
Sinn Féin ran two candidates in Tallaght Central in 2004. Mark Daly was second on the first count, with 13.74% of first preferences, while the second party candidate took 6.47% of the vote. Dublin South-West former TD Seán Crowe is now the party councillor for Tallaght Central is the sole candidate in the ward for 2009.
Sinn Féin also ran a two-candidate strategy in Tallaght South where Cathal King ran second on the first count in with 11.74% of the poll while the second Sinn Féin candidate took 9.68% of the poll surviving until the seventh count. King is running again in 2009 with Sinead Cooke as his running mate.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown
This is the only Dublin council where Sinn Féin have no elected councillors so the focus is on the 2009 candidates. In Ballybrack, An Phoblacht columnist and former Belfast City Councillor Eoin Ó Broin will be seeking to break the 7.53% of first preferences won by Sinn Féin in 2004.
In the Dundrum ward, Sinn Féin won 5.63% of the vote in 2004 which Oonagh O’Reilly will have as a target this time around. While Sinn Féin did not run in the Dún Laoghaire ward in 2004, Brian McNally is running in 2009.
Sinn Féin did run in Glencullen, taking 8.76% of the vote in 2004. In 2009, Shaun Tracey will contest the Dublin South by-election and the Glencullen ward.
Seamas Mac Floinn is standing in the Stillorgan Ward.