Comeragh Candidates Battle to the End

Elected candidate Liam Brazil with Fiona and Marie Brazil.

Elected candidate Liam Brazil with Fiona and Marie Brazil.

The Comeragh area saw 12 candidates vying for 6 seats. The quota for the Comeragh ward was 1,290. On the first count, two candidates were deemed elected, exceeding the quota were Michael J. O’ Ryan (FF) and Liam Brazil (FG). Liam Brazil (FG) topped the Comeragh poll back in 2009 with 1,733 votes and this year saw him come in second with 1,445 votes. “I am just overwhelmed by the whole thing. I got such a great response on the doorsteps and delighted the people of the Comeragh voted for me”. Brazil promises to make the new amalgamated Council work for the betterment of Waterford. “I am going to give it a good lash” said Brazil. “We need to get jobs back into Waterford and we need to get tourism back, we have great hotspots and we are not selling them enough”. Humbled by the re-election Brazil said it was down to the hard work of all the people who helped him and supported him. Portlaw had four candidates running; Mary Butler (FF), Brendán Coffey (FG), Sean Walsh (IND) and Declan Clune (SF). Clune was elected on the 8th count. Clune has won a seat for the Sinn Fein party who had no representation for the Comeragh area in the last five years. Sean Walsh was excluded after the 7th count. Battling for the last two seats for the Comeragh was Seanie Power (FG), and two Portlaw natives Brendán Coffey and Mary Butler. Seanie Power took the 5th seat. Butler bet Coffey by 119 votes taking the sixth and final seat. Coffey who was seeking re-election has now lost his seat on the Council. “I was in 6th position throughout the counts and I held on. It’s been 30 years since a Fianna Fáil Councillor from Portlaw sat on the Council. I am very proud to have this seat” said Mary Butler. John O’ Leary (FF) was elected on the eighth count with 1,297 of the votes. “I am delighted to be re-elected by the people of the Comeragh. It’s an honour. Thank you to everyone who voted for me and supported me” said an overwhelmed O’ Leary. Dermot Kirwan (IND) was the first to be excluded from the Comeragh area after the 3rd count where he received 254 votes. Michael Flynn (IND) and Dr. David Janes (DDI) were then excluded after the next two counts. Michael J. O’ Ryan (FF) was also seeking reelection and was this year’s poll topper for the Comeragh electorate. O’ Ryan received 1,329 of the votes back in 2009 and in this election captured 1,484 of the votes. O’ Ryan was elected on the first count. “I am very humbled to get the number of votes” said O’ Ryan. O’ Ryan who’s mantra is to be a voice for rural Waterford commented on how he is going to continue to be this voice. “It is even more important to have that strong voice for rural Waterford, especially with the amalgamated Council”. The poll topper expressed his gratitude for all his supporters who came out and voted for him. Long standing Councillor, Ger Barron of Labour lost his seat for the new Council; he was excluded after the sixth count after receiving 615 votes. Barron has been a sitting Councillor since 1999. In the 2009 local elections, he received 1,022 votes in the Comeragh area, a staggering contrast to this year’s results. The Comeragh representation for the new Council sees 3 Fianna Fail candidates, one Fine Gael, one Sinn Fein and one Independent taking the highly sought after six seats on the new amalgamated Council.

Sarah Leahy

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