Live Election Blog 2019

Friday, 24th May, 2019 2:27pm

Live Election Blog 2019

The Anglo-Celt news team will be bringing you updates from the Cavan count centre over the weekend as candidates are elected or eliminated in their respective electoral areas. We will also be bringing you Facebook Live video coverage of count announcements from the sports centre.

Midnight: FYI guys, we're out until the morning and you can follow day two of the blog on this link:

The Anglo-Celt Local Election Blog Day 2

24:24: BJD first count is in

23:58: Aontu's Sarah O'Reilly elected on the first count; Mary Roche eliminated, counting suspended until 10am


Electorate: 20421


Total Poll: 11,665

Spoiled: 249

Total Valid Poll: 11,416

Quota: 1,631


Barry, PJ (FF): 601

Boyle, Bridget (SF): 781

Brady, Carmel (FG): 1,021

Fitzpatrick, Aiden (FF): 905

Hall, Shirley (FG): 630

Kelly, Clifford (FF): 1,363

McDermott, Francis (FF): 929

McDonald, Paddy (SF): 772

Murray Gerry (FF): 785

O’Hare, John (FG): 661

O’Reilly, Sarah (AON): 1,704

Roche, Mary (LAB): 114

Smith, Val (FG): 1,150


23:45: Trevor Smith (FG) and Shane P O'Reilly (FF) elected on first count; surplus of Trevor Smith to be redistributed. Count suspended until the morning


Electorate: 20,222


Total Poll: 11,475


Total Valid Poll: 11,271

Quota: 1,611


Bennett, Winston (FG): 1,497

Brady, Philip (FF): 1,328

Connell, Noel (SF): 804

Harten, Geraldine (SF): 469

Lovett, Craig (FF): 1,290

McPhillips, Grainne (AON): 778

O’Reilly, Shane P (FF): 1,703

O’Reilly, TP (FG): 1,576

Smith, Trevor (FG): 1,826


23:40: John Paul Feeley elected in Cavan Belturbet; Sean McKiernan has been eliminated.


Electorate: 18,308

Seats: 6

Total Poll: 9,600


Total Valid Poll: 9,412

Quota: 1,345


Argue, Madeleine (FG): 1,225

Brady, Damien (SF): 718

Downey, Daniel (SF): 430

Fay, Brendan (Ind): 1,236

Feeley, John Paul (FF): 1,414

McKiernan, Sean (FG): 172

McVitty, Peter (FG): 954

Smith, Emmett (S-PBP): 498

Smith, Sean (FF): 1,114

Van der Spek, Liam (LAB): 591

Walsh, Patricia (FF): 1,060

23:24: Ballyjamesduff and Cavan-Belturbet both seem to be finished their first counts; adjudication of doubtful votes is now underway for the Bailieborough Cootehill area. It's now anticipating that the first count from all three electoral areas will be announced before counting is suspended until the morning. 

23:20: Sean McKiernan speaks to Seamus Enright


22:40: Sinn Féin's Bridget Boyle is in the count centre and Seamus Enright caught up with her


22:30: Fianna Fáil's PJ Barry speaks to the Celt team at the Drumalee Count Centre

22:23: Fine Gael's Paddy O'Reilly gives his take on the tallies

22:17: Returning officer Eoin Doyle has just announced that count staff will now adjudicate on doubtful votes in the Ballyjamesduff Electoral Area.


22:15: Philip 'the Gunner' Brady talks to Seamus Enright.

22:08: Seamus Enright talks to Emmett Smith from Solidaritiy - People Before Profit

21:57: Labour's Liam van der Spek reviews his performance with reporter Seamus Enright

21:52: A bullish Shane P O'Reilly believes Fianna Fáil can take three out of six seats in Ballyjamesduff

21:50: Thanks for sticking with us folks. We're delighted that our blog is about to hit 11,000 reads. Keep tuning in across the weekend.

21:40: Count staff are now adjudicating on the disputed votes in the Cavan-Belturbet area

21:24: Security crew doing a fine job here at the count centre in Drumalee - one of our eagle eyed (or  eared) reporters heard them refuse Aontú leader Peadar Toibín entry as he didn't have a pass. One of Sarah O'Reilly's supporters had to lend him a pass. If your name's not on the door...

21:15: Look who's arrived at the Cavan Count Centre!

20:59: Madeleine Argue talkes to Damian McCarney as she is on course to retain her seat in Cavan Belturbet

20:56: Lieutenant David Murray takes the results of the referendum to Dublin Castle


20:52: Ó Caoláin still optimistic Sinn Féin can take two seats.


20:20: Upbeat Patricia Walsh tells Damian McCarney - I'm taking back my seat!

20:01: Seamus Enright catches up with former Sinn Féin councillor Eugene Greenan

19:51: Thomas Lyons speaks to seasoned election veteran Danny Brady whose son Philip is on course to take a seat in the Ballyjamesduff electoral area:

19:43: (SE) What a difference 5 years can make: Comparison of 2019/ 2014 tallies

Bailieborough-Cootehill LEA

A slightly lower turnout. Massive swing in favour of Aontu’s Sarah O’Reilly, and somewhat for Fianna Fail which still stands to gain three seats depending on how the cards fall, have eaten into a support base that Fine Gael hoped to capitalise on. Support for Sinn Fein, running two candidates, is down,

Electorate: 19465/ 19701

Turnout: 11250-57.80%/ 11485-58.30%

Spoiled 204/147

FF 40.12%/ 38.7%

FG 30.27%/ 42.4%

LAB 1.03%/-

SF 13.62%/11.6%

OTH 14.96%/ 7.4%


Cavan-Belturbet LEA

Fianna Fail are up again here, and it would be naive for anyone to suggest that the new school in Ballyconnell as an issue hasn’t had an affect. Indeed, Belturbet Independent candidate Brendan Fay seems best placed to benefit from that, while support for Sinn Fein has remarkable halves since 2014. Both PBP and Labour have also done well, with ‘other’ doubling their combined take this time out.

Electorate: 17859/ 17468

Turnout: 9379-52.52%/ 8547-48.93%

Spoiled: 172/ 172

FF 38.19%/ 30.97%

FG 24.98%/ 35.51%

SF 12.21%/ 22.48%

OTH 24.62%/ 11.04% 


Ballyjamesduff LEA

Once again the Sinn Fein foothold is under threat, this time however perhaps because the party chose to run two candidates, the same in all three LEA’s, and the first time this has been attempted. Aontú’s Grainne McPhilip’s also polled well, while the Fine Gael support is up and Fine Gael is significantly down in those five years.

Electorate: 20517/ 19362

Turnout: 11081-54.01%/ 9651-49.85%

Spoiled 37/ -

FF 38.44%/ 34.5%

FG 43.46%/ 51.5%

SF 11.29%/ 10.6%

OTH 6.81%/ 3.4%


19:39: Damian McCarney catches up with John Paul Feeley who is set to top the poll for Fianna Fáil in Cavan Belturbet

19:36: Ooppsss! This just in from Dublin Castle:

19:26: Seamus Enright catches up with Aontú's Sarah O'Reilly who is on course to top the poll in the Bailieborough Cootehill electoral area:


19:18: Counting has just begun in the local elections in Cavan under the supervision of Eoin Doyle, returning officer.

19:15 Cavan divorce returns sent to Dublin

18:25: Thomas Lyons catches up with a delighted Brendan Fay from Belturbet.

18:14: It's break time here at Drumalee. The count staff as taking a well-earned break. A source close to the canteen says chicken curry and beef stroganoff are on the menu; meanwhile, downstairs in the public canteen, it's chicken goujons or hotdogs! The first local election counts will begin in the electoral areas after the break. 

18:01: Count staff have finished counting the Divorce Referendum ballots. Although no official result has been announced - as it must be sent to Dublin castle - the word on the ground is it has overwhelmingly passed in Cavan - with some 24,000 voting 'yes' and 7,000 'no' - 77% to 23%.

16:46: The Celt news team is going to take a short break; we will be back with more updates in an hour.

16:44: McVitty and Brady in dog fight for last seat in Cavan-Belturbet; while Brendan Fay looks set to take a seat

16:35: Euro tallies complete in Cavan


16:07: Count staff have just begun counting votes in the Divorce Referendum. 

15:43: Full tallies for Cavan-Belturbet

The expected quota was calculated at 1,285, but is expected to be nearer 1,300. 


Argue 1194 (13%) FG

Brady 704 (8%) SF

Downey 422 (5%) SF

Fay 1207 (13%) Ind

Feeley 1364 (15%) FF

McKiernan 169 (2%) FG

McVitty 922 (10%) FG

Smith E 490 (5%) Solidarity PBP

Smith S 1091 (12%) FF

Van Der Spek 579 (6%) Lab

Walsh 1021 (11%) FF


15:39: Seamus Enright catches up with Sinn Féin's D

aniel Downey who looks set to lose out in Cavan-Belturbet:

15:37: The tally from Bailieborough Cootehill is in. Check out the leaders in the field.

15:33: Sinn Féin's Noel Connell speaks to Thomas Lyons about his vote collapse in Ballyjamesduff.

15:26: Walsh the big story in Cavan-Belturbet; as Madeleine Argue looks set to top the poll

15:12: The full pictures from the tally in Ballyjamesduff. Big shock for Sinn Féin

14:55: Seamus Enright catches up with Trevor Smith who is set to top the poll in Ballyjamesduff.

14:40: The tally is complete in the Ballyjamesduff electoral area. Trevor Smith (FG) looks set to top the poll and take his father's seat with almost 1,800 first preferences, exceeding the projected quota of 1,583. The other big story is that Sinn Féin could end up with no seat in Ballyjamesduff.

Shane P O'Reilly (1,663), TP O'Reilly (1,561), Winston Bennett (1,458), Brady (1,315), Lovett (1,281), Noel Connell (790), Grainne McPhillips (755) and Geraldine Harten (461).

Full story in a few moments.

13:57:  Europe: Has Smith done enough?

13:39: Some analysis from the Celt team in Drumalee

13:29:  Tally from Mullagh Booth 4 - Shane P O'Reilly (252), TP O'Reilly (48), Noel Connell (8), Grainne McPhillips (7), Craig Lovett (6), Geraldine Harten (4), Philip Brady (2), Trevor Smith (1), Winston Bennett (0).

Tally from Kilnaleck, Booth 2 - Trevor Smith (157), Craig Lovett (62), Geraldine Harten (27), Grainne McPhillips (24), Noel Connell (11), Philip Brady (5), Winston Bennett (3), TP O'Reilly (3), Shane O'Reilly (0)

13:22: Tallies for local election at 1.15pm

Cavan-Belturbet, 19 out of 43 boxes opened (43%)- Argue (FG) 690/16%, Brady (SF) 280/7%, Downey (SF) 300/7%, Fay (Ind) 300/7%, Feeley (FF) 411/10%, McKiernan (FG) 110/3%, McVitty (FG) 292/7%, E Smith (PBP) 333/8%, S Smith (FF) 394/10%, Van der Spek (Lab) 312/7%, Walsh (FF) 729/17%.

Ballyjamesduff, 36 out of 48 boxes opened (75%)- Bennett (FG) 645/8%, Brady (FF) 880/11%, Connell (SF) 694/8%, Harten (SF) 365/4%, Lovett (FF) 1141/14%, McPhilips (Aon) 537/6%, SH O’Reilly (FF) 1179/14%, TP O’Reilly (FG) 1043/12%, Smith (FG) 1762/21%.

Bailieborough-Cootehill, 37 out of 45 boxes opened (73%)- Barry (FF) 444/6%, Boyle (SF) 548/7%, Brady (FG), 795/10%, Fitzpatrick (FF) 684/9%, Hall (FG) 503/6%, Kelly (FF) 1234/15%, McDermott (FF) 654/8%, McDonald (SF) 630/8%, Murray (FF) 259/3%, O’Hare (FG) 465/6%, O’Reilly (Aon) 1230/15%, Roche (Lab), 80/1%, Smith (FG) 497/6%.

12:54: Early Ballyjamesduff tally

12:52: Seamus Enright chats to the Walsh camp with some predictions for Cavan-Belturbet

12:50: Euro tallies latest

The latest European tallies show Brendan Smith fairing much better locally than the exit polls suggested across the 15 counties of the Midlands-North-West constituency. A total of 26 of the 132 boxes (they are a random geographical spread) have been opened so far and the Fianna Fáil hopeful has 1,813. 
Fine Gael shoo-in Mairead McGuinness is performing well as you would expect with 1330. Matt Carthy will be content with his showing of 935 votes. While Saoirse McHugh has been one of the stories of the day across the constituency, in Cavan it's Independent Ming Flanagan who makes up the front four with 390. With a further 80% of the boxes to open, it could all change.

12.22: A look at some Euro boxes:
Euro snapshot from Bailieborough Cootehill


12.20: Latest tallies for Local Elections.

Bailieborough-Cootehill with 43 per cent of boxes opened. Sarah O’Reilly (Aon) 852, with the next nearest Carmel Brady (FG) on 468, next Aidan Fitzpatrick (FF) 449, Paddy McDonald (SF) 441, Clifford Kelly (FF) 387, Val Smith (FG) 329, with local boxes across the board still to open. There are 13 candidates.

Ballyjamesduff with 47 per cent of boxes opened. Trevor Smith (FG) way out ahead on 1,467 on early tallies, followed by Craig Lovett (FF) 744, Noel Connell (SF) 484, Philip ‘the Gunner’ Brady (FF) 454, Winston Bennett (FG) close to the 400 mark, Shane P’O’Reilly from Mullagh and TP O’Reilly from Virginia, both Fianna Fail, are neck and neck with tallies in the mid-300’s. Grainne Smith (Aon) and Geraldine Harten (FF), both first time candidates, are in the 200’s.

Cavan Belturbet with 35 per cent of the boxes opened. Patricia Walsh (FF) is out on top in early tallies at 632, Madeleine Argue (FG) 560, Sean Smith and John Paul Feeley, both Fianna Fail and near neighbours on around 10 per cent, and other candidates with seven per cent of tallied vote and under at this still very early stage.

11:46: (SE) 26 out of 136 boxes now opened in Cavan.

In the European election, out of a sample of 5,500 votes, Brendan Smith (FF) is out ahead of the rest, with 1,81 votes, Mairead McGuinness (FG) 1,330, Mat Carthy (SF) 935, and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Ind) 390, all over candidates below that mark.


11:34: (SE)  Europe- A sample of 12 boxes open in Cavan Count Centre, the tallies in the European election sees Brendan Smith (FF) on 813, Mairead McGuinness (695), Matt Carthy (490), with both Saoirse McHugh (Green) and Peter Casey (Ind) both getting a “fistful of votes” across the board.

Local- In Cavan-Belturbet, former Cathaoirleach Madeleine Argue (FG) and Patricia Walsh (FF) are seemingly ahead.

Boxes are being counted from the St Micheal’s Cootehill centre at present, where Sarah O’Reilly (Aon) and Val Smith (FG) are picking up votes, having polled well in earlier boxes also.

In Ballyjamesduff LEA, Trevor Smith is having a strong showing, putting him on course to take the seat being vacated by this father Paddy, who retired at the end of the last Council term. Craig Lovett (FF), who missed out by some 45 votes in 2014 to Shane P O’Reilly (FF) is also seen to be doing well.

Again, there are concerns for the Sinn Féin vote countywide, which seems to have dropped off in all three LEA’s.


11:04am: Fine Gael Senator Joe O'Reilly reviews the European Exit polls with Thomas Lyons:

10:57:  (SE) Former Cavan Town Mayor, Labour Party’s Des Cullen is at the Cavan Count Centre in support of Cavan-Belturbet candidate Liam van der Spek, and Bailieborough-Cootehill’s Mary Roche. Both are first time candidates, and its the first time in a number of years the party has had two candidates Cavan.

He though believes that LEA’s are too large for the representation, and that when Town Council’s were abolished in 2014, it left a void in representation which he expected to be amended somewhat by the electorate five years on. He’s also calling for a re-establishment of former town commissions.

“If you lived in Cavan Town you had nine town councillors and if you walked down town you were bound to bump into one of them. The same in Cootehill and Belturbet. So you had plenty of representation, and I think the last time five years ago when town councils were abolished that people didn’t naturally come and vote.

This time however, he feels that those areas now realise the abolition of that urban democracy was a “bad thing” and voters in those areas have become more attuned to supporting local-centric candidates.

“They don’t have the people beside them that they use to have. They don’t have that representative there living beside them.”


10:30: (SE) There are now 10% of boxes opened in Cavan-Belturbet where there is no clear leader, but Patricia Walsh (FF) is “slightly on top”, 27% in Ballyjamesduff where Trevor Smith (FG) is “well ahead”, and 24% in Bailieborough-Cootehill where Aontú’s Sarah O’Reilly, formerly Fianna Fail, is “doing well”, according to local tally sources.

However, it remains “hard to call” across all three LEA’s.

10:26am: Seamus Enright catches up with retiring Cllr Paddy Smith (FG) whose son is hoping to retain his father's seat.

10.05am: (SE) The county staff are making light work of the job at hand, with almost 20 boxed opened now at the Cavan count centre, by 10am.

There are a total 136 boxes to open.

Local Fine Gael Senator, and seasoned political analyst Joe O’Reilly considers the European election, based on exit polls, to show “overwhelming” support for his party colleague Mairead McGuinness.

However, acknowledging the admitted margin for error, he suggests there is scope for “some surprises yet”.

From the earliest tallies so far in Cavan, its shows the Sinn Féin votes may be down slightly, however Sen O’Reilly does not expect this to affect Midlands North West candidate Matt Carthy in sealing his return to Brussels.

In one box tally check, for the Cavan Town area, as expected Fianna Fáil’ Brendan Smith is doing well, however it remains to be seen how that mood transfers to the rest of the constituency. If he fails in a bid for one of four European seats, expect an in depth post-mortem to be carried out into the party's controversial two-candidate strategy. Deputy Smith received near unanimous support from the party’s grassroots at convention in Longford, and party mate Anne Rabbitte was only added to the ticket afterwards by Fianna Fail HQ.

In further early analysis Sen O’Reilly remarks that the Green Party’s Saoirse McHugh could be a “dark horse” in this European election race, and that as candidates drop off, geographically it could “fall friendly” for both her and Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh, both of whom had strong showings in recent televised debates.

9:38am: (LOR) Boxes have been opened at the Drumalee Count Centre in Cavan and the tallymen (and women) are in action.

Post a Comment

blog comments powered by Disqus