Tolan topped the poll with 1782 votes.

LE2024 Meath: The Story of the Laytown/Bettystown Count

All seven councillors have now been elected to the Laytown/Bettystown electoral area with two sitting councillors, Tom Behan (FF) and Elaine McGinty (Lab) losing their seats.

Newcomers include Sinn Fein's Maria White, a primary school principal and barrister Carol Lennon (IND). White is the only Sinn Fein Cllr who secured a seat in the area.

Fine Gael Cllr Sharon Tolan was the first councillor to be elected to Meath County Council in the Laytown/Bettystown area yesterday. Tolan topped the poll with 1782 votes.

Fine Gael's Paddy Meade was elected earlier today meeting the quota exactly with 1681 votes.

Independent Cllr Geraldine Keogan also secured a seat on the seventh count today. Keogan was co opted to Meath County Council in 2020 after her sister Independent candidate, Sharon Keogan was elected to Seanad Eireann. Her sister Geraldine took her seat in Laytown/Bettystown.

Fianna Fail Cllr Stephen McKee who received the second highest number of first preference votes retained his seat on the ninth count.

Fianna Fail retained a second seat with Cllr Wayne Harding crossing the line in the tenth count, however there was disappointed for colleague Tom Behan who was eliminated on the eighth count. Behan was first elected to Meath County Council in 2019.

Labour's Elaine McGinty also lost her seat. McGinty was co opted onto Meath County Council in 2020, to replace her party colleague, Cllr Annie Hoey, who was elected to Seanad Eireann.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and so grateful for such a fantastic endorsement from the public." said Cllr Sharon Tolan.

" I have worked really really hard for the last ten years," she added.

"It was such a pleasure this election I have to say, the doors were really positive and to see the numbers there is just incredible."

Tolan has made no secret of her ambitions to represent the area on a national level, an aspiration that could be realised given that Meath East will have an extra TD at the next election after the Electoral Commission recommended that the number of deputies for the next Dáil be increased to 174, up from 160.

Meath East will become a four-seater constituency to reflect the rising population while Meath West will remain with three seats.

Tolan said her sights are firmly set on that challenge now.

Following behind Tolan with votes is sitting independent Cllr Geraldine Keogan with 1,538 votes, on course to be elected as is Fianna Fail Cllr Stephen McKee with 1499 first preference votes. Fine Gael Cllr Paddy Meade has secured 1467 votes while Fianna Fail Cllr Wayne Harding is fifth with 1278 votes.

Newcomer Maria White (SF) is doing well with 1,059 votes.

Independent Carol Lennon has obtained 934 votes while Peter Whelan (Aontu) secured 625.

Fine Gael new candidate Declan O,Neill is at 430 votes.


Electorate: 28, 901

Total Poll: 23,605

Quota: 1,681

Spoiled votes: 160

Valid Poll: 13, 605


Tolan Sharon (FG) 1782 - Elected

McKee Stephen (FF) 1499

Keogan Geraldine (Ind) 1538

Meade Paddy (FG) 1467

Harding Wayne (FF) 1278

White Maria (SF) 1059

Lennon Carol (Ind) 934

Lynch Seamus (SF) 744

Behan Tom (FF) 640

McGinty Elaine (Lab) 729

Whelan Peter (Aontú) 625

Mac Reamoinn Cathal (Green) 357

O'Neill Declan (FG) 430

Westlake Raymond (Ind Ireland) 207

Smith Patrick (Ind) 105

Qevani Marjeta (Ind) 51

Elected Fine Gael Cllr Sharon Tolan's surplus was distributed however no candidate met the quota and therefore no one was elected on the second count.

Patrick Smith (Ind) received the lowest number of votes and was eliminated.



McKee Stephen (FF) + 16 1515

Keogan Geraldine (Ind) + 2 1540

Meade Paddy (FG) + 12 147

Harding Wayne (FF) + 1 1279

White Maria (SF) + 10 1069

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 10 944

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 1 745

Behan Tom (FF) + 21 661

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 8 737

Whelan Peter (Aontú) + 1 626

Mac Reamoinn Cathal (Green) + 7 364

O'Neill Declan (FG) + 10 440

Westlake Raymond (Ind Ireland) + 1 226

Smith Patrick (Ind) + 0 105

Qevani Marjeta (Ind) + 1 52


No candidate was elected on the third count. Westlake Raymond (Ind Ireland) has been eliminated.

McKee Stephen (FF) + 6 1521

Keogan Geraldine (Ind) + 17 1557

Meade Paddy (FG) + 4 1483

Harding Wayne (FF) + 3 1282

White Maria (SF) + 13 1082

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 46 990

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 9 754

Behan Tom (FF) + 4 665

McGinty Elaine (Lab) +9 746

Whelan Peter (Aontú) + 8 634

Mac Reamoinn Cathal (Green) + 6 370

O'Neill Declan (FG) + 0 440

Westlake Raymond (Ind Ireland) 208

Qevani Marjeta (Ind) + 18 226

FOURTH COUNT ( Distribution of Westlake Raymond (Ind Ireland) 208 surplus)

No candidate has been elected on the fourth count. Mac Reamoinn Cathal (Green) has been eliminated.

McKee Stephen (FF) + 7 1528

Keogan Geraldine (Ind) + 38 1595

Meade Paddy (FG) + 3 1486

Harding Wayne (FF) + 2 1284

White Maria (SF) + 15 1097

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 45 1035

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 2 756

Behan Tom (FF) + 15 680

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 4 750

Whelan Peter (Aontú) + 50 684

Mac Reamoinn Cathal (Green) + 8 378

O'Neill Declan (FG) + 6 446

FIFTH COUNT ( Distribution of Mac Reamoinn Cathal (Green) 378 surplus)

No candidate was elected on the fifth count. O'Neill Declan (FG) has been eliminated.

McKee Stephen (FF) + 33 1561

Keogan Geraldine (Ind) + 17 1612

Meade Paddy (FG) + 27 1513

Harding Wayne (FF) + 15 1299

White Maria (SF) + 35 1132

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 18 1053

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 10 766

Behan Tom (FF) + 34 714

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 132 882

Whelan Peter (Aontú) + 3 687

O'Neill Declan (FG) + 18 464

SIXTH COUNT (Distribution of O'Neill Declan (FG) surplus)

Fine Gael Cllr Paddy Meade has been re elected to Meath County Council on the sixth count just meeting the quota of 1681 votes.

"It's a great feeling," said Meade.

"I 'm one of those Cllrs who mixes opinions with people sometimes but I got votes in every box across the district," he added.

"There are people in Bettystown Beach delighted today , there are people in Duleek, Slane Lobinstown and Donore delighted today.

" It's a great day not just for me but for the entire area that I represent."

Local Election CountLaytown / Bettystown candidate - Paddy Meade is elected Photo by David Mullen

The Fine Gael Cllr has a number of key issues he wants to tackle in the Lobinstown area where he resides in the term ahead as he explains:

"I got 85 percent of the vote in Lobinstown, I think its the highest anyone's got in the county.

"I know there are a lot of national issues but the roads in north Meath are still an issue that still has to be addressed.

"Laytown/Bettystown district has 19 percent of the population yet we are only getting between 11 and 14 percent of the money.

"I'm not popular for saying it but Navan, Trim and Kells, the three historical towns are still getting too much money.

"We need to get it over to our side and I think people have reacted positively to me saying that.

"The county of Meath needs to get more money nationally, that's what I have been drumming home and that is what has been resonating with people and hopefully that is what the government will hear today."

Aontu candidate Peter Whelan has been eliminated with the fewest votes. Whelan also ran for Peadar Tobin's party in the 2019 local elections.

"When I saw how many votes I got, I was resigned that I didn't get there but looking at the transfers, there was always a slight possibility," said Whelan.

"But I learned from the last time not to build up your hopes too much," he added.

Despite the defeat the Slane man says he's going to continue his work as a community activist.

"I have been working very hard for the last five years, I'd be a liar to say I'm not disappointed but I've already made a decision that I'm going to continue the hard work because I wouldn't let down the people who depend on me," said the Aontu candidate.

"It is a very tight constituency and the one thing I have learned that I'll have to spread my wings further and try and get out further to the wider constituency.

"On a positive note the party has gained council seats all over the country and I am in for the long haul."


Meade Paddy (FG) + 168 1681

Keogan Geraldine (Ind) + 54 1666

McKee Stephen (FF) + 64 1625

Harding Wayne (FF) + 43 1342

White Maria (SF) + 5 1137

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 2 1055

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 22 788

Behan Tom (FF) + 16 730

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 12 894

Whelan Peter (Aontú) + 18 705


Independent Cllr Geraldine Keogan is the third candidate elected to Meath County Council in the Laytown/Bettystown area with 1824 votes.

Keogan was co opted to Meath County Council in 2020 after her sister Independent candidate, Sharon Keogan was elected to Seanad Eireann. Her sister Geraldine took her seat in Laytown/Bettystown.

"I'm so grateful to everyone who came out and gave their number one vote to me," said the the independent Cllr.

Geraldine Keogan elected for the Laytown / Bettystown Electoral area. Pictured with senator Sharon Keogan and Amanda SmithPhoto: David Mullen/ Photo by David Mullen

"It means so much to me," she added.

"It's great to have that support behind you and I'm looking forward to continuing the work I've been doing for the last four years

"We started the campaign in February so it has been four long months, I'm just looking forward to getting on with the job now."


Keogan Geraldine (Ind) + 158 1824

McKee Stephen (FF) + 26 1651

Harding Wayne (FF) + 126 1468

White Maria (SF) + 65 1202

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 81 1136

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 66 854

Behan Tom (FF) + 16 746

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 25 919


No candidate was elected on the eight count. Fianna Fail Cllr Tom Behan has been eliminated.

McKee Stephen (FF) + 6 1657

Harding Wayne (FF) + 14 1482

White Maria (SF) + 5 1207

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 60 1196

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 9 863

Behan Tom (FF) + 3 749

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 4 923

NINTH COUNT (Distribution of Fianna Fail Cllr Tom Behan surplus)

Fianna Fail Cllr Stephen McKee has been re elected.

McKee said he was "overwhelmed" by the level of support he has received

"I'm delighted and first of all I want to say a huge thanks to my family, my wife and kids and my campaign team for their support and obviously those who voted for me," said McKee.

"I have worked very hard over the last council term and I've increased my vote substantially," he added.

"It is an absolute privilege to represent the people of East Meath on Meath County Council," said McKee.

10-06-24, Meath Local Election Count at Simonstown GAALocal Election CountStephen McKee is elected to the Laytown / Bettystown electoral areaPhoto: David Mullen/ Photo by David Mullen

Following his success locally, the Fianna Fail Cllr says he has big ambitions for his political career on a national level.

"I will reflect on my result tonight and I will talk to my family, I would have a big interest in putting my name forward for the next general election, it would be a huge honour to represent my area in the dail," he said.


McKee Stephen (FF) + 167 1824

Harding Wayne (FF) + 187 1669

White Maria (SF) + 57 1264

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 106 1302

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 23 886

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 71 994


Fianna Fail Cllr Wayne Harding has been re elected with 1726 votes.

Harding says he is "relieved and happy" to be able to continue his work on Meath County Council.

"I'm feeling great, It's the fourth term and it's been a difficult campaign and I have an amazing team, I can't say enough about them," said the Slane based councillor.

"Elections are so hard on everyone around you, and they are all here today, my mam and dad who are in their 80s at this stage, my wife Yvette and the kids Ethan and Amelia," he added.

Fianna Fáil candidate - Wayne Harding celebrates after he was electedPhoto: David Mullen/ Photo by David Mullen

"You leave everything out there and sometimes it doesn't go right for people and I feel for them today as well. It's a blood sport without the blood and when it goes wrong for you it's so painful and I'm just so relieved and happy to be able to start working again."

It's straight back to business for Harding who has plenty to be getting with in the line of council business as he explains:

"The oral hearings into the Slane Bypass should start in the next month or so and the Boyne Greenway is well progressed so there is a lot of work to do."

Tenth Count

Harding Wayne (FF) + 57 1726

White Maria (SF) + 16 1280

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 17 1319

Lynch Seamus (SF) + 5 891

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 19 1013

Lynch Seamus (SF) has been eliminated.

Eleventh Count - Final Count

Maria White (SF) and Carol Lennon (IND) have been elected

White Maria (SF) + 641 1921

Lennon Carol (Ind) + 39 1358

McGinty Elaine (Lab) + 50 1063