The inaugural and historic Clonakilty Mayoral Council election held at Scoil na mBuachaillí on Saturday, May 24 saw 1,588 people (36 per cent of the electorate) returning to vote a day after the County Council and Euro Elections.
Eight candidates were on the ballot paper to fill five seats.
The quota was 263 and the first count saw Colette Twomey topping the poll with 332 first preference votes and being elected. Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin was just a single vote behind and was also declared elected on the first count.
There were four more counts, which resulted in the remaining three seats being filled in the following order: Anthony McDermott; John Loughnan and Gretta O’Donovan (who was elected without reaching the quota).
As per the Rules/Guidelines of the Mayoral Council, the Mayors will rotate starting in Year One with Colette Twomey, as she got the first seat and Deputy Mayors being the ‘Mayor in waiting’ for the following year.
Like all elections, there were disappointments when Phil O’ Regan, Aidan Pendlebury and Annie Tanner were unsuccessful in their attempts.
Even before the polling station opened at 9am, people were waiting to vote, and there was a steady and consistent stream up to 7pm that evening at close of polling. Throughout the day, a rota of around 40 people – including ten Transition Year students from Sacred Heart Secondary School manned the polling booths to ensure the smooth running of the election.
The count started at 10am at O’ Donovan’s Hotel on Sunday morning, and was concluded by early afternoon.
The Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage Sub-Committee, headed by Tomás Tuipéar and Jerome JC O’ Sullivan, who spent months organising the election and running it and the count in such a professional and efficient way are owed a huge debt of gratitude for the huge amount of time put into the project and how professional everything was run.
At the conclusion of the count Tomás Tuipéar paid tribute to all involved. The election had not cost anything except time and materials were sponsored.
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