Stiofán Conaty celebrates his election with fiancée Caroline Reilly.

Conaty aims to be a 'driver for change'

Sinn Féin newcomer wins third seat in Bailieborough Cootehill

Stiofán Conaty was elected on the 7th count thanks to a massive transfer from his mentor, Sinn Féin stalwart Paddy McDonald.

The Ballyhaise man claimed 510 votes to exceed the quota by 120 and take the third seat in the Bailieborough Cootehill electoral area.

"It feels well deserved after the campaign that's been put in. For me personally it feels a relief to get over the line, and for ourselves in Sinn Féin on a county level it feels good to have tripled our seats in this election."

He said that new blood is always important - new ideas and a new energy.

"That's important in Cavan County Council and it's important in any political party. I think Sinn Féin of all the political parties have a younger generation coming up brimming with enthusiasm, brimming with ideas and want to make change happen."

"Politics hasn't worked out for our generation for a long-long time and I hope that I can be a driver for change for my own generation and those to come after."

He paid tribute to his running mates, Marina McEntee and Paddy McDonald.

Marina is a fantastic individual and fantastic worker - she ticks all the boxes and you will see Marina McEntee again.

"While I'm happy for myself I'm sad that Paddy, who has held the line for us for 20 years, it wasn't his day today."

He paid tribute to the Bailieborough stalwart for his contribution to the republican movement nationally and locally.

"I thank him for the work he's done with myself and Marina and others - bringing us into the party, bringing us along, that with a bit of commitment to the cause and hard work you can gain those seats."

He was also eager to pay tribute to Charlie Boylan, who won a seat in Cavan County Council 50 years to the day. Charlie had been present at the count, and Stiofán said he hoped to emulate his achievements.

"Charlie's family grew up in Corratober a stone's throw from my family.

"Charlie settled in Redhills, and I hope to settle in Redhills.

"He broke the mould for Sinn Féin in the area, and I hope to do the same."