#LE19 VOTE MEATH - The story so far. LIVE UPDATES

Story by Ann Casey

Sunday, 26th May, 2019 12:43am

#LE19 VOTE MEATH - The story so far. LIVE UPDATES

Joe Bonner and family.

Four of the six seats up for grabs in the Ashbourne area have been taken so far with Joe Bonner topping the pole yesterday securing 2170 votes, exceeding the quota by 739. Bonner also topped the pole in this area in 2014.  Fine Gael councillor Alan Tobin was another candidate to be elected on the first count with 1565 votes. 

Fine Gael’s Suzanne Jamal secured a seat this morning  as expected obtaining 1479 votes on the 6th count. 

Sitting councillor for Laytown Bettystown, Sharon Keogan  was elected on the 8th count securing 1543 votes and has made history  by becoming the first woman in Ireland to take a seat in two municipal districts. 

It’s looking promising for Fianna Fail’s Conor Tormey who is hoping to return to Meath County Council after 15 years. He is on 1256 votes, just short of 176 to meet the quota of 1432. 

Fianna Fail’s Lisa Mellor and Sinn Fein’s Darren O’Rourke are batting it out with just five votes separating them with 950 and 955 votes respectively. 

Fianna Fail’s Sarah Jane Reilly was eliminated yesterday as was Sinn Fein’s Aisling O’Neill. Independent John Stillman and most recnetly Paul Nolan (SD) were also knocked out of the race. Nolan’s 668 votes are currently being distributed as the 9th count is underway. 

Four out of the seven available seats in the Laytown /Bettystown area have been filled now with first-time candidate Annie Hoey (Lab) joining Sharon Keogan, Sharon Tolan and Paddy Meade on the Council.

Councillor Sharon Keogan topped the pole yesterday with 2,039 votes exceeding the quota by 607 and was elected on the first count. Fine Gael’s Sharon Tolan also got in on the first count with 1,774 votes as well as Paddy Meade who secured 1,455 number one votes. 

Sitting councillor for Fianna Fail, Stephen McKee is on 1,358 and fellow Fianna Fail candidate Wayne Harding currently has 1,287 votes both hoping to secure the quota of 1,432 and will see FF's Tom Behan battle it out with SF's Eimear Ferguson for that last seat.

Indepdentent Patrick Smith, Sinn Fein’s Fergal O’Byrne, William Lacey (PBP), Rob Corr (SD) and Anthony Connor (DDI) were all eliminated on previous counts. 

Outgoing Cathaoirleach Tom Kelly was eliminated after this 9th count.

Yemi Adenuga made history in Navan this afternoon when she became the first black woman to be elected to Meath County Council.
"It is an exciting time for migrants in this community," she said.
"I am so happy for young people of ethnic communities. On the doorstep, they were excited that I could do this."
She was elected on the 11th count along with Padraig Fitzsimons (FF) and Independent, Alan Lawes.

Alan Lawes is elected in Navan after a 'Poster Free' campaign

Three of the six seats up for grabs in the Ashbourne area have been filled so far with Joe Bonner topping the pole yesterday with 2,170 votes, exceeding the quota by 739. Bonner also topped the pole in this area in 2014. Fine Gael councillor Alan Tobin was another candidate to be elected on the first count with 1565 votes. 

Fine Gael’s Suzanne Jamal secured a seat this morning  as expected obtaining 1479 votes on the 6th count. 

It’s looking promising for sitting councillor for Laytown Bettystown Sharon Keogan  who is hoping to get a seat  with 1,395 votes currently. 

Fianna Fail’s Sarah Jane Reilly was eliminated yesterday as was Sinn Fein’s Aisling O’Neill. Independent John Stillman was also knocked out of the race. 


Aisling Dempsey, daughter of former Meath TD and government minister, Noel Dempsey has been elected to the Trim electoral area on the fourth  count. 

Meanwhile Sinn Fein's Eddie Fennessy has been elected in Navan but has described the loss of his party colleague Sinead Burke's seat as "a catastrophe."

The count is over in Ratoath with Gerry O'Connor FG and Deirdre Geraghty Smith elected on the seventh count without reaching a quota.

The new councillors in the Ratoath area are Damien O'Reilly FF, Gillian Toole Ind, Brian Fitzgerald Ind, Nick Killian Ind, Maria Murphy FG, Gerry O'Connor FG, and Deirdre Geraghty Smith FF.

Counting is underway for all six electoral areas in Meath this morning with Independent Francis Deane elected in Navan on the seventh count and Maria Murphy (FF) being elected on the sixth count in Ratoath.

There were two high profile losses in Navan this morning. Sinead Burke, outgoing Sinn Fein councillor in Navan was eliminated on the eight count while her former council colleague, Wayne Forde (Ind) was eliminated on the 7th count.
Sixteen seats are now filled - Fine Gael have seven, Fianna Fail three, Independents have six and Aontu have one.

Meanwhile in Ratoath, the horror show for Sinn Fein continues with Maria O'Rourke eliminated on the sixth count.

Monday 10.50am

Francis Deane (Ind) is elected in Navan on seventh count and outgoing councillor,  Independent Wayne Forde is eliminated. His votes are now being distributed. 

Bee Flanagan FG is eliminated in Ratoath

Aaron Byrne Labour eliminated on fourth count in Kells

Aisling O'Neill eliminated on fourth count in Ashbourne.

The fifth count is underway in Laytown Bettystown, where Paddy Meade's surplus is being distributed.

9.30pm -

Following the recheck of the Trim electoral area, Noel French has been deemed elected a second time today, with Joe Fox also exceeding the quota and declared elected.


Okay a deep breath, here is where we're at

Elected in Ashbourne: Joe Bonner, Alan Tobin
Elected in Laytown Bettystown: Sharon Tolan, Paddy Meade, Sharon Keogan.
Elected in Navan: Tommy Reilly, Emer Toibin, 
Elected in Ratoath: Damien O'Reilly, Brian FItzgerald, Gillian Toole 
Elected in Trim* Noel French (recheck underway)
Elected in Kells: Sean Drew, Sarah Reilly.

Third counts are underway..


20.45 AC

Excited scenes as Aontu's Emer Toibin elected after the  third count in Navan. Fianna Fail's Madeline Thornton has now been eliminated and her transfers are being distributed.

20.35 AC

Sharon Tolan's surplus is being distributed following the second count in Laytown Bettystown. The second count in Ashbourne is also complete and Alan Tobin's surplus is being distributed .

19.45 AC

Aontu's Emer Toibin, who looks set to be elected in Navan said she was delighted with the result.

“We worked very hard in a short space of time and we were very happy with the reception on the doorstep,” said the newly elected councillor and sister of party founder Peadar Toibin.

She spoke of the disillusionment among voters with her brother's former party Sinn Fein.

“We heard a lot of it at the doors. The leadership has changed and people were feeling alienated,” she said.

19.40 AC

Amy McGrath is eliminated after the second count in Navan and her transfers are being counted.

19.20 AC

Sean Drew FF and Sarah Reilly FG are declared elected in the Kells Municipal Area.  Drew has topped the poll and his surplus is being distributed. 

18.50  AC

Recount underway in Trim


18.20 SH

Joe Bonner (Ind) topped the poll in Ashbourne and Fine Gael's Alan Tobin was also elected. Bonners surplus is now being distributed.


17.55 AC

Sharon Keogan (Ind), Sharon Tolan (FG) and Paddy Meade (FG) have been elected on the first count in Laytown/Bettystown. Keogan topped the poll and her surplus is currently being distributed.


17:34 GB

WATCH: Tommy Reilly deemed elected at first Navan Count with 1,330 votes, Quota 1,300

TOT POLL: 11,072
QUOTA 1,551.

French FG 3,052
Fox FG 1,474
Dempsey FF 1,112
Souhan FG 1,029
Kelly FF 870
Moore SD 809
Lynch SF 632
Golden IND 603
Doran AONTU 602
Geraghty FF 430
McElhinney 237


16:45 GB *RESULT*

Noel French (FG) staggering performance in Trim with 3,052 (Quota 1,551). Watch it here!


16.30: GB
As if we've not been through enough already...

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said a general election may have to be considered "in the next couple of weeks".
He was speaking as counts continue in the local elections, which has seen the Fine Gael party losing ground.
He told RTÉ Radio 1's This Week programme that a general election could be better than holding several by-elections.

"I suppose that's a judgement to be made at a later date again - the by-elections have to be held within a six month period, so they'd have to be held by the end of November.

"But there are other factors at play: obviously the instability across the water in relation to Brexit, we have to bear that in mind as well, and also whether we can get the votes to get our budget through.

"That's something that has to be considered in the next couple of weeks - but obviously those by-elections do have to be held and have to be held by the end of November."

16:25: GB
Just the 42 hours since the polls closed and we still await our first count/election conformation

16:05: GB
Ratoath spoiled votes. Count officials rejected 15 ballot papers because they did not carry an official stamp. Seventeen papers were rejected because they had writing across them or had the candidates' names crossed out. Eight papers had no clear candidate first preference marked on them. 179 were also regarded as spoiled because they had no clear candidate preference on them. Some voters put an x against several names. Others put a 5 or 6 against a candidate but showed no other choice.


16:00: GB
Doubtful ballots for all electoral areas being checked. Navan, Ratoath, Laytown/Bettystown, Trim and Ashbourne checks underway. No first count called yet.

15:11 GB
OK, so it looks like Trim will be the first to be called. Doubtful ballots being checked and distributed so first result will follow quickly, possibly 3.30/4pm...don't hold me to this! Caroline Lynch is hopfeul though.

14:51: #LE19 MEATH COUNT:.. Folks, don't know how to tell you this...now hearing it could be nearer to 4pm before we get some white smoke from any of the six electoral areas.





13:13: Fresh word comes in now that results may not be called now possibly until 3pm...send for more Purple Schnacks:(

12:50: GB 
Taken the major decision of working from the top of the page rather than getting you all to keep scrolling. Every little helps!

12:51: GB
No matter what happens today, I’m so happy with the splash my campaign made in Meath" so tweets Annie Hoey who has certainly made a splash on Meath's Gold Coast who could claim a seat in Laytown / Bettystown.. has certainly resurrected the Labour vote in Meath although there were only three Lab candidates with Aaron Byrne and Tracy McElhinney running.


9am: Hello from the Meath Count Centre in Navan. Simonstown Gaels GFC is the venue to officially announce the 40 public representatives who will sit on Meath County Council.

As we await the the opening of boxes and the count to begin, we now know that the Divorce Referendum has been passed by an overwhelming majority.

Final Result
Electorate: 3,397,636
Total poll: 1,727,056
Percentage turnout: 50.83%
Invalid ballot papers: 40,545
Valid poll: 1,686,511
Votes in favour: 1,384,192
Votes against: 302,319

49.09% was the turnout with an above national average of 83.24% voting in favour of Thirty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill 2016 with just 16.76% against.


9:20 Yesterday's tally took place at Trim GAA and the big lines from a long day of counting were Emer Toibin's success first time out for Aontu. Independent candidate Alan Lawes who campaigned without posters was also polling well. The was major success for Fine Gael in Trim where they look likely to take three seats with Noel French doubling the quota. Sharon Keogan raising eyebrows at what could be success in Laytown / Bettystown AND Ashbourne. If that comes to pass, the Cllr will have to choose one seat and the other Council members will convene to choose another representative to co-opt onto the Council.



10:12 GB 
We let Seamus Farrelly loose in the Trim Count Centre as candidates watched the tallies. 

10:20: GB
A lot of interest in Sharon Keogan's situation after put her name on the ballot papers in both Laytown/Bettystown and Ashbourne in Friday's local elections.
And latest tallies from Trim GAA Centre show she could retain her seat in Laytown/Bettystown as well as taking a second seat in Ashbourne.
Under current rules, the Duleek-based representative would have just three days to decide which position to accept if elected to both.
Speaking to Independent.ie in Trim yesterday, Ms Keogan insisted she would fight to represent voters in both if necessary.
"I will certainly be representing the people from both those areas and I will take both of those seats if I can," she said.
"Obviously, I could take a constitutional challenge and I may well do that yet.
"I have a barrister working on that at this moment in time, so I haven't really decided yet."
Businesswoman Ms Keogan previously contested both areas in the 2014 local elections - losing out on a second seat in Ashbourne by just 11 votes.


10:30: GB

This is our Twitter feed if you want to keep an eye there too throughout the day


11:30: GB

Lots of candidates on site here at @Simonstown. Both Alan Lawes (Ind) and Seamus McMenamin (GP) arrived early and both in optimisitic mood and hoping to capture seats in Navan.  Alan, left the Trim Tally count last night to head to work his nightshift the Cappagh Hospital and is back here this morning at Simonstown. No need for sleep it seems.


12:30. Could be 2.30 before we get a first result in Navan. Media room is like the waiting room in a maternity hospital!