FF's Fitzpatrick happy he left his mark

Niall Smith, a cousin of Cavan-Monaghan TD, Niamh Smyth, on course to get elected.

Fianna Fáil's Aidan Fitzpatrick cuts a dejected figure. He turns to speak with the Celt having just walked over and embraced several council staff doubling as count workers. The writing is on the wall, and in the emotion etched on his face.

He was a councillor who for the last five years spoke only when necessary, careful not to get caught up in hyperbole, and eager to enact change with a healthy dash of pragmatism. Fitzpatrick says simply after the distribution of Sinn Féin's Paddy McDonald's 1,112 votes from count #6: “Niall has got more votes for me, that's it. That means he's in and I'm out.”

The distribution of Sinn Féin's Paddy McDonald's 1,112 votes largely benefitted his fellow party candidate, newcomer Stiofan Conaty (1,836), elevating him above the quota of 1,716.

His surplus of 120 will now be distributed in Count 8. But Fitzpatrick (+29 1,384) isn’t expecting miracles, and only expects that the Bailieborough vote will entrench itself further in supporting Niall Smith, a cousin of Cavan-Monaghan TD, Niamh Smyth.

Smith got 263 of McDonald distribution, bringing him up to 1,496.

When the prospect of a recount is mentioned, Fitzpatrick dismisses the notion. “It’s not close enough,” he says shaking his head dismissively.

He puts his loss down to the emergence of several non-party candidates in the Cootehill area, close to his core.

“I'm out probably because of the Independents, that took more votes and that didn't help me.”

Whatever about tonight's outcome Fitzpatrick reflects on the past five years as a local representative and says he “enjoyed the time immensely”.

“I've worked really hard and I'd recommend it to anybody to go and put their name on a ballot sheet and do what they feel they can for the betterment of their community.”

The dad of two looks to the successes for his home town that he has helped deliver as evidence that Fitzpatrick has left his mark.

“I'm very proud of it. I'm delighted with the work I done. I got Hub Muinchille going in Cootehill, work on new tennis courts started, St Michael's Hall I helped initiate, and a lot of other good things I haven't been so outspoken about being involved with. And I've enjoyed all that. Now I'm handing the mantle over to someone else to continue it.”