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FG loss was ‘as big as SF’s national surge’

February 20th, 2020 6:02 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Independent candidate Alan Coleman and his partner Yvonne O'Mahony at the Cork South-West count centre in Clonakilty on Sunday. Alan was eliminated on the fourth count. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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WHILE disappointed with last weekend’s election results, Cllr Alan Coleman –  who ran as an independent – said the feedback from people while out canvassing on the ground was very positive.

This was the former Fianna Fáil councillor’s second time running for the Dáil as an independent candidate.

Four years ago he secured 4,955 first preference votes but this time around he only received 1,801 first preferences.

‘The good feedback we received wasn’t reflected in our first preference votes and the swing wasn’t towards us, but there was still no negativity,’ Alan told The Southern Star.

Regarding the disappointing results for his former party, Fianna Fáil, Alan criticised leader Micheál Martin who, he said, was adamant during the election campaign that they would not go into government with Sinn Féin.

‘It cost him seats and he seems to be caught in a time warp. We are 25 years on from the ceasefire and you have to move on.’

He said he always expected Fianna Fáil to take one of the three seats and that there had been ‘a changing of the jersey’ with Christopher O’Sullivan taking the seat of outgoing TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony.

‘I think Christopher had good momentum, though, as he is county mayor and he had a very good local election last year and ended up topping the poll, so he wasn’t coming from nowhere. Also, there were surges on two fronts from both the Social Democrats and Sinn Féin which made it difficult for everyone.’

However, Alan said the big surprise in Cork South West was the fact that Fine Gael failed to secure a seat.

‘The loss of a Fine Gael seat in West Cork is as seismic as the Sinn Féin surge was nationally.’

 

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