Sunday, May 26, 2019


Day 1 at WIT Arena – tallies, the divorce result, RTE’s exit poll and more…


  • 81.3% in Waterford vote in favour of the Divorce Referendum
  • Cha O’Neill fights to retain Waterford South seat
  • Labour on the way back in Waterford
  • Matt Shanahan looks set to top the poll in Waterford City East
  • Outgoing councillors in Lismore home before a vote is counted
  • Exit poll puts Grace O’Sullivan firmly in race for Waterford’s first seat in Europe

Update 21.38: The people of Waterford overwhelmingly voted in favour of liberalising the country’s divorce laws with 34,970 (81.3%) voters backing a reduction to the period of time couples must wait before formally obtaining a divorce. With the result never in doubt nationally, the time required will now move from four to two years, with just 8,035 (18.7%) of the electorate voting against the amendment. The turnout across the county was 53.45%.

Counting the votes at the Waterford count centre at WIT Arena. Photo: Joe Evans

Long-time Cllr Cha O’Neill fights to retain Waterford South seat

Update 18.54: With all but one box from Waterford City South recorded, the current tally figures are as follows: Donal Barry (IND) 10.3%, Breda Brennan (SF) 6.1%, Vivienne Burns (Ind) 3.8%, Brendan Byrne (IND) 2.2%, Ronan Cleary (Aontu) 3.4%, John Cummins (FG) 11.3%, Warren Fitzgerald (SF) 4.3%, Susan Gallagher (GP) 6.2%, John Hearne (SF) 14.8%, Jason Murphy (FF) 10.8%, Cha O’Neill (IND) 6.8%, Andrew Power (IND) 6.3%, Sean Reinhardt (IND) 5.3%, Seamus Ryan (LAB) 8.5%.

Cllr Cha O’Neill fights to retain his seat in Waterford City South ward. Photo: Joe Evans

Update 18.41: Counting set to commence on the divorce referendum at the Waterford Count Centre at WIT Arena. It is expected a result will be announced sometime after 9pm.

SIGHTS & SOUNDS: Deputy Mary Butler gives her predictions on the Portlaw-Kilmacthomas district to reporter Claire Quinn…

Labour on the way back

Update 15.45 After suffering virtual annihilation at the polls five years ago Labour is on the way back according to the latest tallies. There are indications that Seamus Ryan, and Ger Barron will be returned to Waterford Council to join John Pratt and there are hopes also emerging for the election of Thomas Phelan in Dungarvan. While it could be a great election for Labour thoughts are turning to their late colleague, Jack Walsh, who died suddenly late last year. Jack was already canvassing for a seat in City East at the time of his untimely passing.

Update 15:37 With over three quarters of the boxes opened in Waterford City East the tally figures are as follows: Sharon Carey (FG) 8%, Davy Daniels (IND) 13%, Fiona Dowd (FG) 6.6%, Michael Doyle (SF) 5.8%, Pat Fitzgerald (SF) 7.9%, Michael Garland (IND) 3%, Eddie Mulligan (FF) 11.1%, Jody Power (GP) 9.2%, Matt Shanahan (IND) 18.6%, Lee Walsh (IND) 6.7%, Adam Wyse (FF) 10%.

SIGHTS & SOUNDS: We spoke to Marc O Cathasaigh of the Green Party at the count centre, with the primary school teacher polling well in the Tramore City West District.

Green Wave continues in Tramore/City West

Update 13.05 Tramore City / West – With 50% of the boxes opened and according to the latest tally figures it looks like being a real independence day for outgoing councillor and independent, Joe Kelly who has a commanding lead with 21.1% of the vote. He is followed by outgoing Eamon Quinlan on 12.5% and Mark O’Cathasaigh of the Green Party on 10.8. Outgoing and Tramore based Independent councillors Joe Conway and Blaise Hannigan would seem to have a lot of votes to find to retain their seats. The big news here looks like a seat for the Green Party – for the first time.

Update 13.01 Portlaw/ Kilmacthomas-latest tally figures show that Seanie Power is in the lead with 25.8% with 50% of the boxes tallied. Liam Brazil and John O’Leary are neck in neck at 17%. Ger Barron is doing well with 12.9%. Ray Murphy is up next with 9.2%. Declan Clune looks to be on shaky ground with only 6%. Both Mairead Coffey-Jacob and Ann Troy are at 4%, while Dolores Whelan is currently at 3.7%.

Seanie Power’s numbers looking strong in Portlaw-Lismore. Photo: Joe Evans

Update 12.48 The two Sinn Fein candidates in Waterford City East remain neck-and-neck with Michael Doyle (5.4%) marginally ahead of sitting Councillor Pat Fitzgerald (5.3%) with 34.5% of the early tallies accounted for. Matt Shanahan and Davy Daniels remain ahead of the rest with 20.4% and 16% respectively.

Outgoing councillors in Lismore home before a vote is counted

Update 12.31 Lismore Electoral Area – even without a vote being counted the latest tally figures show that the three sitting councillors, Declan Doocey (FG), John Pratt (Lab) and James ~Tobin (FF) will be returned with ease. The newly revised three-seater has with 27.8% of the boxes tallied revealed that Tobin has 23.1% of the vote, Doocey on 22% and Pratt on 12% – well ahead of them remaining contenders.

Update 12:07 Waterford City East – the hospital candidate, Matt Shanahan is running away with it on 21%, some others: Jody Power 9.2%, Michael Garland 3.7%, Michael Doyle and Fiona Dowd 5.5%, Carey 10.5%, Walsh 4.5%, Wyse 9.5%, Mulligan 10.5%.

Matt Shanahan looks set to top the poll in Waterford City East

Update 11:10am Some early tallies – Damien Geoghegan of Fine Gael is doing very well in Dungarvan at the moment (19.5%), Eamon Quinlan doing well in Tramore/West (18.5%), Matt Shanahan doing well in City East (19%). More tallies as we get them.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan is in with a fighting chance for the fourth seat in the South Constituency

Tramore’s Grace O’Sullivan at 12% in RTE Exit Poll, challenging for fourth seat in Ireland South Constituency

Update 7.05am EUROPE: Last night’s RTE exit poll has shown a surge of support for the Green Party across the country, including in Waterford, predicting that Grace O’Sullivan is firmly in the race for the fourth seat in the Ireland South constituency of the European Elections at 12%. Ahead of her are Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly (16%), Sinn Féin’s Liadh ni Riada (13%) and Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher (13%). Coming behind her are Wexford’s Mick Wallace at 10% and Malcolm Byrne, FF, (9%) and Deirdre Clune, FG, (9%).

Anticipation is already building in the Green Party’s camp locally, with Grace O’Sullivan taking to Twitter last night…


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