Poll-topper John Paul takes vote-getting to a new level!

John Paul O’Shea has the distinction of being the first candidate in Co. Cork to be elected to local government following the 2014 local elections last weekend. Added to that, he has the satisfaction of topping the poll and being elected on a first preference vote of 4,373, a remarkable achievement for an independent candidate.

Speaking to the Mallow Star this week, the popular man from Laharn said his success was down to two reasons, firstly the national move away from party politics, and secondly the hard work he has done over the years at local level. “I have worked hard on the ground in the Mallow area, and now aim to spread out and do work in the new area [Kanturk/Newmarket],” he said, adding that he had been canvassing far and wide since February, meeting as many people as he could. He said a word of thanks to family, neighbours and supporters who worked so hard on the canvass trail.

“The new council is more diverse, so a coalition of groups will be needed when we all meet for the first time on Friday week, June 13th, in County Hall to elect a mayor and deputy mayor.”

The election counts for Kanturk-Mallow and Fermoy were held in Mallow Youth Centre last Saturday, with six out of twelve candidates to be elected in each electoral area. In the end the party line-ups were 2 Fianna Fáil, 2 independent, 1 Fine Gael and 1 Sinn Féin in Kanturk-Mallow, and 3 Fianna Fáil, 1 Labour, 1 Sinn Féin and 1 Fine Gael in Fermoy. Winners in Kanturk-Mallow were John Paul O’Shea, Dan Joe Fitzgerald (Fianna Fáil), Bernard Moynihan (Fianna Fáil), Gerard Murphy (Fine Gael), Melissa Mullane (Sinn Féin), and Timmy Collins (Independent), while Noel McCarthy (Labour), Kevin O’Keeffe (Fianna Fáil), Frank O’Flynn (Fianna Fáil), Ian Doyle (Fianna Fáil), Kay Dawson (Fine Gael) and June Murphy (Sinn Féin) took the six seats on offer in Fermoy.

The big losers on the day included outgoing Co. Mayor Noel O’Connor (Fine Gael), Labour’s Ronan Sheehan, Bart Donegan (Fianna Fáil), and Noel Buckley (Fine Gael) in Kanturk-Mallow, while Aileen Brown (Fine Gael) and Frank Roche (Independent) lost out in Fermoy.

For a full rundown on Saturday’s election counts, see pages 52-64.

Mallow Town Council held its final official meeting last night, Wednesday in the Council Chamber, where former councillors and members of the executive joined in a poignant farewell to the authority. After the meeting, everyone made the short walk to O’Keeffe’s Bar for a reception where tales of meetings and events past and present were shared.