Saturday, May 25, 2019

Aontú leader Peadar Toibin is hopeful of taking at least five local election seats around the country as unofficial tallies in Meath suggest his sister could top the poll in the Navan area.

Peadar Toibin and his sister Emer. Pic: Seamus Farrelly

Unofficial early tallies place Emer Toibin on 12% of the vote with 48% of the boxes opened at the GAA centre in Trim.

There are 16 candidates fighting for the seven-seater area.

Aontú’s candidate in Ashbourne, Joseph Tuite is also polling well at 7pc with 46% of the boxes open, according to tally figures.

Speaking from the GAA centre Aontu’s leader Peadar Toibin was delighted in how the overall picture was forming for his party.

“It’s early days still but it looks like my sister will top the poll in my home town of Navan for Aontu. That’s extraordinary given how difficult it is to break into the vote there.

“Joseph Tuite looks as if he’s polling well in Ashbourne so we may have a fighting chance thereof a seat too.

“Nationally, I’m happy considering we are only challenging one-third of the vote. I’m told we are topping the poll in one area in Cavan and we have reached half the quota with Edward McManus in Castleknock in Dublin.

“I’d also be hopeful to get two seats in Donegal and one each in Mayo and Wexford. I’d be thrilled with that.”

Meanwhile, an Independent councillor is ‘very hopeful’ of becoming the first female in Ireland to take a seat in two municipal districts in the one constituency.

Sitting Meath Co. councillor Sharon Keogan put her name on the ballot papers in both Laytown/Bettystown and Ashbourne areas for the second time in the local elections.

In 2014, she secured her seat in the Laytown-Bettystown area but missed out on the Ashbourne area by just 11 votes.

Unofficial tallies taken as voting boxes are being opened at Trim GAA Centre suggest she is polling well with 9pc of the votes in Laytown/Bettystown and 6% in Ashbourne.

“It’s very early yet but I’d be hopeful of taking the two seats and becoming the first female in Ireland to do so.

“I work hard on the ground and that’s being reflected well.

“While I am feeling confident, you can’t be fully sure until the counts begin but if I do get elected on two municipal areas, it says a lot for local politics when an independent can do this against the power of the parties.”

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