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Mayos lose Dáil seat elsewhere


Edwin McGreal

Two Mayo natives were unseated in Dáil constituencies on the eastern side of the country.
Both Lucinda Creighton and Emmet Stagg were among the most high profile TDs to lose their seat nationwide.
Ms Creighton (36), a native of Claremorris, lost her Dáil seat in the new constituency of Dublin Bay South.
It was a bad weekend for Ms Creighton and the new political party she formed and leads, Renua.
She lost the Fine Gael whip for voting against the party on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill whilst in cabinet as Minister for European Affairs.
She subsequently left the party and formed Renua, who were hoping to target a handful of seats around the country.
However, the loss of Creighton’s seat in Dublin Bay South summed up a bad election for them and they now have no seats in the 32nd Dáil.
Creighton saw her old party, Fine Gael, take two out of the four seats in Dublin Bay South.
Vote collapse
Emmet Stagg (71) has been a Labour TD in Kildare since 1987 but the Hollymount native suffered from a nationwide backlash against the party and lost his seat in Kildare North, with his vote collapsing, receiving less than half the vote he got in 2011.
However, ironically, Stagg’s votes helped to elect another Mayo candidate in Kildare North.
Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan, a native of Killaser, Swinford has been elected in every election since late 1982 but had a nervous time before being declared elected after nine counts.
Durkan was in fourth place for most of the count but after receiving 1,916 of Stagg’s votes, he took the third seat.
Kilmaine’s Shane Fitzgerald also ran in Kildare North, for Lucinda Creighton’s Renua party but he was down the field, in tenth position after the first count with 994 votes and he was eliminated after four counts.
In Limerick City, Breaffy native Sarah Jane Hennelly polled a respectable 2,747 for the Social Democrats. She was in seventh place after the first count and was eliminated after three counts. This display will give the young politician a good platform for future elections.
Liam Coyne from Swinford also ran for the Social Democrats, in Dublin South Central, and also pulled a commendable 2,434 votes in the four seater. Coyne was eliminated after the fifth count.
Another Swinford native, Mike Durkan from Midfield, ran for Fianna Fáil in Cavan/Monaghan.
He was always considered to be a sweeper for Fianna Fáil in Monaghan and with their two Cavan-based candidates, Brendan Smith and Niamh Smyth, both being elected, Durkan lived up to his share of the bargain.
The distribution of his votes, together with Independent Mary Smyth, saw a surge of votes go to Brendan Smith and Niamh Smyth, who took the last two seats.
Speaking of Smiths, Westport native Fergal Smith ran for the Green Party in Clare. Smith, who is based in Lahinch, pulled an impressive 1,700 votes as a first time candidate in a competitive constituency.

Strong connection
Meanwhile two new Dublin TDs have strong Mayo connections.
Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan was elected in Dublin Rathdown, effectively unseating former Minister of Justice Alan Shatter and Labour’s Alex White, the outgoing Communications Minister.
She is a daughter of the late Paddy Madigan from Westport. Mr Madigan was a well-known Dublin-based solicitor. He was actively involved in politics, ironically with Fianna Fáil for some years and then as an Independent. He served as a Dublin county councillor in the 1980s and 1990s. Josepha Madigan is a niece of Barbara Mayock in Westport.
And while Lisa Chambers may be the youngest TD in Mayo, it is another Chambers who will be the youngest TD in the 32nd Dáil. Jack Chambers was elected in Dublin West at the tender age of 25.  Like Lisa Chambers he has family roots in Newport, where his father Frank, a Dublin-based anesthetist, is from, while his mother is Barbara Farragher from Gardenfield, Hollymount (Garrymore). Chambers is actually a nephew of former Mayo and Garrymore footballers Ger and the late TJ Farragher.