McVitty FG a major casualty in Cavan-Belturbet

Cllr first elected to area in 1999. Count in Cavan-Belturbet ends.

Counting in Cavan-Belturbet has concluded with Fine Gael's Peter McVitty, who was first elected to the council in 1999, one of the biggest casualties of this local election.

The businessman and logistics firm owner lost his seat both to the rise in vote received by fellow Ballyconnell town representative Sinn Féin's Damien Brady (1,729), and the margin that separated him from party colleague Niamh Brady (1,333)- who replaces her mother Madeleine- and Fianna Fáil's Patricia Walsh (1,386).

The conclusion came off the back of the distribution of Sinn Fein's Brady's surplus of 298, which belonged to his running mate Michael 'Bricker' Wall, and benefited the Cavan Town candidates most.

Brady (FG) got 58 of Brady's (SF) surplus, bringing her up to 1,333, and Walsh (+90) saw her number of votes boosted to 1,386.

It was always going to be an uphill battle for McVitty (1,209) after both Brady's pushed ahead of him after Count 3 and the distribution of 793 votes compiled from the elimination of Liam van der Spek's (365), Aontú's Tinko Tinev (244), the Green Party's Kevin Murphy (109) and Independent Susuana Komolafe (75).

McVitty at that stage was at 1,192 and never made up the ground. He needed Wall's vote to swing towards him, but it never materialised.

Fianna Fáil's John Paul Feeley (1,349 +26 from Brady's surplus) was also elected in Count 6 with Brady and Walsh, none of whom reached the quota of 1,431.

Independent Brendan Fay (1627) and poll topper, Fianna Fáil's Áine Smith (1,763), daughter of the late sitting councillor Séan Smith, and niece to Brendan Smith TD, were elected in Count 1.

Brady (FG) carries the torch her mother Madeleine held before retiring from politics after 25 years at the end of the last council term.

Brady carries on a legacy from her grandfather, the late Andy O'Brien, a leading Fine Gael organiser and member of Cavan County Council and Cavan Urban District Council for over 40 years. He also served as a Senator (1969-1987) and as a chair of Cavan VEC.

Brady's dad Terry Argue was a Cavan Town councillor also.

Walsh meanwhile first stood for Cavan Town Council in 1985 when she was pipped for a seat by just one vote.

She was co-opted onto the Town Council in 1993, and elected the year after onto Cavan County Council.

Patricia was first elected to Cavan County Council in 2004, but after two terms lost her seat in 2014. She ran again for Fianna Fáil and reclaimed the seat she lost in 2019.