Local Elections

  • 27-year-old school teacher from Knock, Paul Lawless has been selected as a candidate by Aontú to run in the Claremorris Local Electoral Area this May 24th.

    Aontú is the political party created by former Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin.  

    Paul teaches Maths and PE at Ballyhaunis Community School. After playing soccer for Mayo, Connaught and the Republic of Ireland at underage level, he achieved a professional contract with Derby County FC. This led to him attaining a scholarship to study a BE.d at UCC, and an M.B.A in the USA. He is currently doing a post graduate in Mathematics in his spare time. Paul plays Gaelic football for both Aughamore GAA club and the Mayo junior football team.

    Paul felt compelled to get involved in local politics to address what he describes as the regional development imbalance which is hurting Mayo.


  • Sixty three candidates will contest the local elections in Mayo across six new electoral areas  - only 10 of the candidates are female.

    These are the contenders:

    Ballina Electoral Area (6 seats) – 12 candidates


    Michael Loftus FF      

    Eamon Moore FF      

    Annie May Reape FF            

    Kieran Gill FG

    Aileen Horkan FG

    John O'Hara FG                    

    Jarlath Munnelly FG              

    Michael Regan SF                 

    Tracey Smyth SD                  

    Mark Duffy Ind                                  

    Willie Nolan Ind                      

    Seamus Weir Ind                   


    Belmullet Electoral Area (3 seats) – 6 candidates

     Gerry Coyle FG         

    Breege GrealiS FG    

    Paul McNamara FF   

    Sean Carey FF          

    Teresa Whelan SF     

    Jay Heneghan    Ind     



    Castlebar Electoral Area (7 seats) – 17 candidates

     Al McDonnell FF       

    Blackie Gavin FF     

    Martin McLoughlin FF           

    Cyril Burke FG                  

    Ger Deere FG          

    Eugene McCormack FG       

    Donna Sheridan FG            

    Joe McHale SF                  

    Joe Daly PBP           

    Michael Farrington  Renua  

    Kamal Uddin  Lab

    Harry Barrett Ind              

    Michael Kilcoyne Ind          

    Anthony Vesey Ind

    Gerry Loftus Ind

    Des Walsh Ind

    Aidan Crowley Ind

    Claremorris Electoral Area (6 seats) – 10 Candidates

     Patsy O'Brien FG      

    John Cribbin FG        

    Tom Connolly FG

    Michael Burke FG

    Damian Ryan FF       

     Michael Carty FF      

    Natasha Warde SF    

    Mags Sheehan GP    

    Richard Finn Ind        

    Paul Lawless Aontu   

    Swinford Electoral Area (4 seat) – 7 candidates

    John Caulfield FF      

    Michael Smyth FF     

    Neil Cruise FG           

    Tom Lavin FG            

    Gerry Murray SF       

    Tom Horan Aontu      

    Sean Forkin Ind         

    Westport Electoral Area (4 seats)- 11 candidates

     Peter Flynn FG          

     Austin Francis O'Malley FG

    Tereasa McGuire FG

    Chris Maxwell FF       

    Brendan Mulroy FF    

    Cissy Nayiga GP

    Christy Hyland Ind   

    Johnny O'Malley Ind

    Darragh McGee Ind

    Frank McAlonan Ind

    Shane Fitzgerald Ind


  • Alan Dillon has announced today that he will not be running in the local elections in May but instead will focus entirely on seeking a Dail seat in the constituency of Mayo.

    He has decided not to seek a nomination at the Fine Gael selection convention for the Castlebar Municipal District which will take place next month on Sunday, 10th February.

    As a candidate for Dáil Éireann, Mr. Dillon says he is firmly focusing all of his attention on a successful campaign to retain a Fine Gael seat, currently held by former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD. 

    Alan was chosen as the Fine Gael party's Castlebar-based candidate to contest the next General Election alongside Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, and Senator Michelle Mulherin.

    In a statement to Midwest News Mr Dillon says “I am confident there is no shortage of excellent candidates to contest the upcoming Local and European Elections in May 2019 and for that reason, I have decided to announce that I will be focusing solely on the next General Election.  I will continue to place all my energy in my preparedness to have the strongest chance of retaining the seat held by Fine Gael in Castlebar for the past 65 years since the people of Mayo entrusted the late Henry Kenny’s election in 1954.”

  • Castlebar Fine Gael Cllr Henry Kenny will not be seeking re-election next May.

    A Fine Gael Castlebar district meeting heard last night that Mr Kenny will not be standing in next year’s local elections.

    It ends over 60 years of the Kenny family’s involvement in Mayo politics.

  • Castlebar Electoral area - final tally


    Barrett, Harry                           589

    Burke, Cyril                      1,180

    Crowley, Aidan                  162

    Daly, Joe                          428

    Deere, Ger                        1226

    Farrington, Michael            316

    Gavin, Blackie K                1,684

    Kilcoyne, Michael               2,458

    Loftus, Gerry                     554

    McCormack, Eugene           704

    McDonnell, Al                    1,494

    MacHale, Joe                    602

    McLoughlin, Martin            900

    Sheridan, Donna                768

    Uddin, Kamal                    149

    Vesey, Anthony                  53

    Walsh, Des                        134    


  • A school teacher is hoping to secure a council seat for Sinn Fein in the Claremorris Electoral in the upcoming local elections.

    Natasha Warde from Claremorris who has a Degree in Sociology and Political Science says she has been approached on a number of occasions to get involved in politics.

    Ms. Warde says she is disheartened with the present Government and feels it’s now time for change.


    Climate change has been put firmly on the agenda for next week's local and European elections.

    Two political opinion polls out today show a significant bounce for the Green party - which is up four points in both.

    The polls also show there's very little difference in current levels of support for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

    These results will make lively reading for political leaders heading into local and European elections on Friday.

    A Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitudes poll of 954 voters between May 2nd and 14th puts Fine Gael and Fianna Fail level on 28 per cent - while a Red C poll of 2000 adults for the Sunday Business Post between Mayo 6th and 16th puts Fianna Fail just 4 points behind. 

  • In Roscommon, counting concluded in all three electoral areas yesterday- Athlone, Boyle and Roscommon.

    In the Roscommon electoral area, Fianna Fail's Paschal Fitzmaurice was first elected, followed by Independents Kathleen Shanagher, Tony Waldron and Nigel Dineen, and Fianna Fail's Orla Leyden and Marty McDermott - no seat for Fine Gael in the Roscommon electoral area.

    In Boyle, long-serving Fianna Fail Councillor John Cummins was first elected, followed by Independent Valerie Byrne, SF's Michael Mulligan, Liam Callaghan of FG, Independent Tom Crosby and Joe Murphy of Fianna Fail - brother of Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy.

  • In Sligo, counting in the Ballymote / Tubbercurry area went on into the early hours of this morning before all 7 seats were filled.

    Fianna Fail's Paul Taylor was first elected, followed by Independents Joe Queenan and Michael Clarke and FG's Dara Mulvey, and the 10th count saw the election of Fianna Fail's Martin Baker and two FG candidates Martin Connolly and Gerard Mullaney.

    Independent Willie Gormley failed to win a seat on Sligo County Council held by his late aunt Margaret Gormley for more than 40 years.   

    Outgoing councillor Keith Henry also failed to be re-elected and was eliminated on the 5th count.


  • Counting has concluded in all of the local electoral areas in Mayo.

    In Mayo, Claremorris was the last area to finish up at 3.30am this morning - sitting FG Councillor Patsy O'Brien topped the poll in the 6-seater electoral area, followed by Fianna Fail's Damien Ryan and Independent Councillor Richard Finn.

    Fine Gael's Michael Burke, John Cribben and Tom Connolly were all elected on the last count - so it's 4 out of 6 seats for Fine Gael in Claremorris.

    Counting also concluded in the 6-seater Ballina area last night, where sitting FG Councillor John O'Hara topped the poll, followed closely by Independent candidate Mark Duffy and sitting councillors Annie May Reape and Michael Loftus of Fianna Fail, Independent Seamus Weir and FG's Jarlath Munnelly.

    In the 4-seater Westport area, sitting Independent Councillor Christy Hyland headed the poll, alongside Fine Gael's Peter Flynn, FF's Brendan Mulroy and Independent Johno O'Malley.

    Counting had concluded on Saturday in the Castlebar, Swinford and Belmullet areas.

  • Traffic entering Ballina from the Foxford side is continually backed up as it approaches the Font junction, and according to Independent candidate in Ballina , Willie Nolan,  a few changes could be made to enhance the flow of traffic at this busy junction.

    Willie suggests that double yellow lines on the approach to the font, could allow a new second lane of traffic to be created  - assisting traffic flow into town and turning left towards Crossmolina.

    He outlined his idea to Midwest News this morning and has also submitted his proposal to council officials in Ballina.

  • The Fine Gael Executive Council has added Donna Sheridan as a candidate for the Castlebar local election area in Mayo.

    Ms Sheridan will contest the Local Elections on Friday, May 24 along with her party colleagues; Cllr Cyril Burke, Ger Deere and Eugene McCormack, who were all selected at the Castlebar convention on February 10 last.

    Fine Gael’s Executive Council met on Wednesday night in Dublin and decided to add Ms Sheridan to the ticket in the Mayo constituency.

    Ms Sheridan, a qualified teacher, is originally from Brownhall, Balla and now lives in Castlebar. She works for the Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board as Further Education and Training Co-ordinator and is also a member of the TUI National Executive.

    Previously Donna’s colleagues elected her as a member of the Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board and also onto the National Executive of the Teachers Union of Ireland.

     Fine Gael has held 133 of 166 selection conventions to date with 304 candidates selected of which 81 (27%) are women.


  • Former Mayo County Councillor Michael Burke has been added to the Fine Gael ticket in the Claremorris electoral area to contest the local elections next month.

    Michael will be contesting in the Ballinrobe town and South Mayo area to try and win back a seat for the party in the area.

    Michael says he is well aware of the needs and challenges the area faces and is willing to do his very best to serve this community as he has done so in the past. He says Ballinrobe is the largest town in Mayo without a resident councillor and he feels the area is suffering without one.

  • Fine Gael councillor in Galway, Frank Kearney has this morning announced that he has decided not to contest the upcoming local elections on May 24th.

    In a statement issued to Midwest News cllr Kearney says that following deep consideration, I have decided not to contest the 2019 local elections.

    Cllr Kearney was elected to Galway county council in 2014, on his first attempt to secure a seat.He has thanked the people of the area for their support and the management and staff of Galway Co Council for their co-operation.

    He served as Cathaoirleach of Athenry-Oranmore Municipal District on two occasions during the past five years.

    His statement concludes saying “the past year has been challenging having to combine local authority issues with medical issue and that following discussions with his medical team
    he will have to return to chemotherapy again much earlier than anticipated and so has decided that it is his best interest not to seek re-election as I now need to enjoy more time with family and hopefully be able to continue with a number of projects that he has been working on over many years”.

  • Kilmovee native, Tommy Horan has been selected as a candidate by Aontú to run in the Swinford Local Electoral Area this May.

    Aontú was founded by former Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin TD.

    Tommy Horan is a Family Support and Community Development Worker at Kilmovee Family Resource Centre and is also self employed running his own business.

    He has an extensive track record in community development and has always been actively involved, at local, county and national levels.

    Tommy has been the one of the driving forces behind the now well-known and busy social enterprise of Kilmovee Community Centre which incorporates social housing, all weather pitch, laundry, health centre, meeting rooms, Meals on Wheels and Heritage Centre.

    He serves on the Board of Mayo North East Leader which is responsible for Leader Funding (Rural Development Programme) in North and East Mayo. He has huge concerns that the current programmes funding has been slashed which is another hit at Rural Mayo.

  • A local election candidate is urging people to register to vote before Tuesday’s deadline.

    Shane Fitzgerald, who is running as a local election candidate in the Westport area says he is finding that up to 1 in 4 people that he has canvassed, are not on the register of electors.

    Mr Fitzgerald says the form to register must be with the council by Tuesday and is very straightforward to complete.

    He is urging people who are entitled to vote, to register so they can exercise their democratic right.

  • Our Local Election Lunchtime News Debates continue today at 1pm here on Midwest Radio.

    Some of the candidates contesting the 7 seater Castlebar Municipal District will join us this afternoon

    They are sitting Fianna Fail  councillor Martin McLoughlin, former Fine Gael councillor Eugene McCormack, People Before Profit candidate Joe Daly, and Independent contender Gerry Loftus

    If you have any questions for the panel you can email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring the newsroom at 094 9630985

  • The lunchtime local election debates get underway today at 1pm here on Midwest Radio on our lunchtime news and will run until May 22nd daily.

    Today we have three of the contenders seeking seats on the 6 seater Ballina Municipal District -sitting councillors – Fianna Fail’s  Michael Loftus and Fine Gael’s John O’Hara together with Sinn Fein’s candidate Michael Regan

  • Just a month away from local and European elections - political opinion polls are split over which parties are picking up the most support.

    A RED C Poll for the Sunday Business Post put's Fine Gael 10 points ahead of their rivals Fianna Fail - while the 'Behaviour and Attitudes' Poll for the Sunday Times has Fianna Fail more popular than Fine Gael. 

    Sunday Times Political Editor Stephen O'Brien says the Government party may be seeing the effects of the Brexit extension. 

  • Renua Ireland has announced that Kiltimagh-based businessman Michael Farrington will contest the upcoming local elections in the Castlebar electoral area

    Mr Farrington - who unsuccessfully contested the 2016 general election in Mayo - says Castlebar, as the county town, needs to be promoted and developed to become an economic driver for all of Co Mayo.