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Shaping up to be a ‘battle royale’ in Bandon area

May 30th, 2024 10:00 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Shaping up to be a ‘battle royale’ in Bandon area Image

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THE Bandon Kinsale area is being described as a ‘battle royale’ judging by the number of candidates hoping to win seats in the six-seater electoral area.

There are 12 candidates running, with four sitting councillors hoping to keep their seats when voters hit the polling stations on Friday June 7th.

What is significant this time round is that two sitting Fine Gael councillors – Kevin Murphy – the second longest serving councillor in Cork County Council, with 37 years of experience, and his colleague John O’Sullivan – are both stepping down and their seats will be hotly contested.

Fine Gael will be keen to hold on to these two seats and they are hoping Bandon’s Gerard Seaman – who ran in 2019 and came very close to getting a seat – and newcomer John Michael Foley from Timoleague can make an impression on voters. Meanwhile, it is expected that sitting councillor Marie O’Sullivan in Kinsale, who took the fifth seat in 2019, will poll well in her area.

Five years ago Fianna Fáil won two seats, Fine Gael won three, and Independents won one but nothing is safe in local politics and there are plenty of newcomers hoping to cause a political upset.

Fianna Fáil’s Gillian Coughlan, who topped the poll five years ago with 2,762 first preference votes, is running again, as is her colleague and current chair of the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District Sean O’Donovan, who took the sixth seat in 2019.


The party has also opted to include a third candidate with former TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony – who became the first female TD elected in Cork South West in 2016 – also standing and hoping to return to Cork County Council.


It will remain to be seen if the party’s vote management can get all three candidates across the line, especially when all are Bandon-based too.

Alan Coleman, who is running as an independent, secured 2,350 first preference votes five years ago, claiming the second seat and it is expected he will keep his seat.


Bandon town has been described as a ‘hotbed’ by one political pundit due to the number of candidates in the town.

Publican John Collins – brother of TD Michael Collins and Bantry-based publican Cllr Danny Collins – is standing for Independent Ireland and is being seen as the dark horse in the Bandon Kinsale area and could claim a seat.

Ann Bambury, also in Bandon, is running for the Social Democrats and she took could pick up plenty of votes through her activism in securing the new play-park in the town.

Clare O’Callaghan is hoping to win back a seat for Sinn Féin, which they lost five years ago.

Their former councillor, Rachel McCarthy topped the poll in Bandon Kinsale 10 years ago so they will be hoping the nationwide rise in the popularity of the party will transfer to votes and get Clare over the line.

Other candidates hoping to pick up votes include Brendan Piper of Piper’s Funfair who is running as an Independent candidate.

The Cork Green Party’s director of elections, Stephen Spillane is also standing in Bandon Kinsale area.

It is possible that Coughlan (FF), Coleman (Ind) O’Sullivan (FG) Collins (Ind) and Seaman (FG) could take the first five seats, while a battle will take place between O’Donovan (FF) Murphy O’Mahony (FF) O’Callaghan (SF) Foley (FG) and Bambury (SD) for the final seat.

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