Connolly ‘overawed’ by dramatic success

Domnick Connolly, who dramatically regained a seat on Roscommon County Council last weekend – five years after the loss of his seat in 2019 appeared to signal the end of his political career – says he could barely believe it when his election was confirmed at around 3.30 on Monday morning.

Cllr Connolly had trailed James Murray (Fianna Fáil) and Sam Brooks (Sinn Féin) over the course of a series of counts, and after polling just 482 first preferences, the prospects of him leap-frogging either or both of those challengers seemed extremely slim.

“I didn’t think I’d get a seat throughout the course of Saturday and Sunday” he said, reflecting this week on last weekend’s count. “I had been hoping for a bigger first preference vote, but I suppose the fact that it was smaller than I’d hoped for explains why I did so well on transfers. I proved to be very transfer-friendly”.

Key to his success was the fact that a bigger than expected transfer from the distribution of Dominic Naughton’s vote finally propelled him above Murray. When his neighbour was eliminated, Connolly still had huge ground to make up on Brooks.

“My team were very closely watching where James’ transfers were going, so I had a strong indication (before the formal announcement) that I was actually closing in on Sam Brooks and likely to make it.

“Still, when it was announced that I had passed him and been elected, I could barely believe it. It had gone on so long, and had been seesawing so much. It was a phenomenal feeling. I was overawed”.

Cllr Connolly said he was particularly delighted for his wife Mary, his family, his canvassers and all who had voted for him.

The successful candidate says he felt very sorry for both Sam Brooks and James Murray.

“They are two young candidates, and it was their first time out. I know how they are feeling, as I lost a seat in 2019. So I absolutely felt for them… I wish them both the very best in the future”.