ALL CHANGE TO POLITICAL LANDSCAPE

Liam and David Daniels lift their father Davy Daniels (a former employee of The Munster Express) shoulder high after his election to City East.

Liam and David Daniels lift their father Davy Daniels (a former employee of The Munster Express) shoulder high after his election to City East.

Success for SF and Independents as FF & FG discuss possible pact

WATERFORD voters have elected nine Independents and six Sinn Féin Councillors to the first-ever City and County Council. The shape of the new Council emerged during a marathon 24-hour count last weekend that saw 12 sitting councillors lose their seats, including four each from Labour and Fine Gael. Sinn Féin topping the poll in two areas and a total of five women were elected. Independent TD John Halligan, who canvassed on behalf of five members of the Dáil’s Independent Network, stated: “I don’t think the Government – contrary to what they are saying publicly – fully realised the trauma that austerity is having on people. This is Waterford’s answer to them.” Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane said John Hearne deserved to be the new Council’s first Mayor, having pulled in almost 20 per cent of the vote in City South. But he reiterated previous pledges that Sinn Féin would not enter any political pact, stating that the Mayor should be elected on the basis of the highest first preference votes. The new Council, made up of eight Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Councillors each, six Sinn Féin members, nine Independents and just one Labour representative, will meet on Friday, June 6th to elect its first mayor. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, who make up 50 per cent of the new Council, are to meet separately this week to discuss their positions. However early discussions are understood to have already taken place with a view to the two parties uniting – possibly with Labour or a ‘like-minded’ Independent – to form a majority pact and nominate their own candidate for the Mayoralty.

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