Martin first to vote – and from hospital bed!

Athleague-based councillor Martin Connaughton became the first councillor in the country to vote in the Seanad elections after he voted from his hospital bed in the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin. ‘I was the first one in the country to cast my vote,’ Cllr. Connaughton informed Roscommon People on Thursday afternoon. ‘The Seanad election is particularly hard for the people that lose their seat and then they have to go back and visit every county councillor in the country.’ Asked about how he voted in the election, Cllr. Connaughton responded, ‘My main priority was to look after all the local candidates.’ Clerk of the Seanad Deirdre Lane, who Cllr. Connaughton described as a ‘great camógie player’, is a name very familiar to councillors and aspiring senators and she oversaw Cllr. Connaughton casting his vote on Thursday morning last. ‘The whole thing was done under her supervision and there was a man here visiting me and he had to leave. The count takes place on Monday, July 23rd. There are five ballot papers and if you fill four, that’s a spoiled vote. We all got our papers last Tuesday. They came by registered post.’ Cllr. Connaughton has been in hospital for a number of weeks recently following major heart surgery. His recovery is progressing well and he intends to be out and about in early August. ‘I am looking forward to being out. I went through a bad run but am feeling great and I am great, I’m on antibiotics and hoping to be out for my daughter’s wedding on August 16th.’