ROSCOMMON ANALYSIS: Third time lucky for Brennan, breakthrough for Fine Gael


Probably the most predictable Local Electoral Area from the time the tallies were completed on Saturday morning, the Roscommon LEA threw up no great surprises as the counting started and continued throughout Sunday. By 1 am on Monday (Sunday night), the sixth and final count saw all six seats filled. This was the first of Roscommon’s three LEAs to formally declare its count completed and councillors elected.

Two councillors were returned to the chamber on the first count, Fianna Fáil’s Marty McDermott with 1626 first preferences and Paschal Fitzmaurice with 1853. Fitzmaurice topped the poll, as he has done consistently. McDermott increased his vote since 2019 and was “delighted” with the result. The quota was 1491 which resulted first in the redistribution of Fitzmaurice’s surplus and then with the redistribution of McDermott’s.

On the third count, the three lowest polling candidates were eliminated. These were Justin Slamen (IFP), Paul Hester (GP), and Cathal Finnegan (IPP). Their combined votes of 512 were then redistributed. This redistribution saw Independent councillor Tony Waldron re-elected by surpassing the quota with 1645 votes and Independent Ireland councillor Nigel Dineen re-elected with 1492 votes. The redistribution of Cllr Waldron’s surplus resulted in Sinn Féin’s Christine McDonagh being eliminated on the fifth count having reached 768 votes.

The sixth and final count saw the remaining two seats filled, Fine Gael’s Gareth Scahill (Castlerea) exceeding  the quota by reaching 1625 votes and Fianna Fail’s Larry Brennan being elected without reaching the quota but having amassed 1312 votes. This was Scahill’s first outing and saw Fine Gael regain a seat in the LEA having been unable to retain the seat following the last-minute retirement of Michael Creaton in 2019. For Larry Brennan, it third time lucky. Having not contested the 2019 election, the newly-elected Cllr Brennan took up the Fianna Fáil torch from Cllr Orla Leyden who had chosen to not contest this year’s election.

Losing out on the last count but having put up a valiant effort under difficult circumstances in Roscommon Town was Robert McConn of Fine Gael. McConn faced stiff, seasoned competition on every side both geographically and politically and was eliminated on the final count having taken 806 votes.