EVENTS in City East provided some of the main talking points from Waterford’s local election results. Tallies from early Saturday morning indicated that Cllr Matt Shanahan (Ind) would top the poll.The prominent campaigner for 24/7 cardiac care at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) was co-opted onto Waterford City & County Council in January in place of Cllr Mary Roche (Ind) who resigned her seat.
His total first preference vote reached an impressive 1,736.Cllr Davy Daniels (Ind) took the second seat in what was his ninth local election. First elected in 1974, the former employee of The Munster Express has now cemented his place as one of the longest serving Councillors in both Waterford and Ireland.He has been another active campaigner on the 24/7 issue and, in July 2014, was one of the first Councillors to table a motion on the issue as part of the current campaign.
His sister Mary Coughlan has been to the forefront of the campaign since its inception along with Willie Doyle. Fianna Fáil fared very well in Waterford City East as the party took two seats as planned. Following the seventh count, Cllr Adam Wyse and Cllr Eddie Mulligan were both re-elected.Although just shy of his 25th birthday, Cllr Wyse has been a public representative for this area since late 2013 when he was co-opted following the untimely death of his father Gary.
He held the position of Mayor of Waterford City & County Council for 2016/2017.
Cllr Mulligan, who has already been selected by Fianna Fáil as a general election candidate, didn’t suffer any negative impact from joining the party following the 2014 local election in which he was elected as an Independent candidate. He was just ahead of Cllr Wyse on first preference votes (932 compared to 892) but was overtaken by the seventh count (1,267 compared to 1,308). One of the biggest surprises came in the form of Jody Power (Green Party) who continued the ‘Green Wave’ in Waterford by taking the fifth seat in Waterford City East.
He comes from a well-known local family and is a brother of Fr Liam Power.
He was also elected after the seventh count There was intense speculation throughout Sunday as to the identity of the candidate who would capture the sixth and final seat.
Sinn Féin had seen their vote plummet in the area, with Cllr Pat Fitzgerald’s first preference vote falling from 1,221 in 2014 to 587. Cllr Sharon Carey was aiming to retain the seat held for almost 40 years by her father, the late John Carey.She was co-opted onto the Council in his place in November 2018. Fine Gael’s decision to run two candidates residing in close proximity to each other, and no city based candidate, backfired.
The transfers of the party’s other candidate, Fiona Dowd, weren’t enough to boost Cllr Carey who eventually lost out to Cllr Fitzgerald who was re-elected for a third term. His party’s strategic election planning proved more successful as he benefited significantly from the transfers of his party colleague Michael Doyle. Michael Garland (Ind), a former CEO of Waterford Chamber, obtained 311 first preference votes while Lee Walsh (Ind) fared better with 523.