There were some mixed results for Fine Gael in this election.
Veteran campaigners in the Ardee area, Finnan McCoy and Jim Lennon, both lost their seats, but Colm Markey polled well and Maria Doyle delivered for Fine Gael in Dundalk-South and John McGahon took a seat in Dundalk-Carlingford.
“I’m delighted to have passed the line,” said Fine Gael’s Maria Doyle having been elected on the final count in Dundalk-South.
The CBS primary school teacher was co-opted to the Dundalk Town Council following the appointment of Jim D’Arcy to the Seanad in 2011.
As a first time candidate before the electorate, she received 637 first preference votes.
Doyle placed seventh at the first count and took the final seat.
“It was a tough election,” said Doyle, “I am delighted for the party. It is onwards and upwards.
“It is clear that the public is sending a message across. There is a protest vote.
“Our business is to provide good local services in this area.
“My focus is looking at where money is being spent by Louth local authorities. Our council need to spend our money wisely and properly.
“The cycle lanes was part of that issue, but it is a larger issue. We need to focus on the efficient use of public money.”
As a county councillor, this is a new path for Doyle.
“It will be a learning curve. I’ve had some experience on the Town Council. I will be able to step-up to the mark.
“We will all have to work towards creating a good environment in this area.
“I have enjoyed canvassing. It is the only way to find out the issues of the people.
“It has been hard work balancing my job, family and work. I took a few weeks unpaid leave off work to focus on the campaign.
“That is my commitment to it. I will be back to work soon and will be able to balance both.”
Former Fine Gael senator Jim D’Arcy said that “apart from my personal disappointment that Linus English did not get elected, I think the Fine Gael party did well.
“This was a mid-term election and a lot of tough decision had to be taken. I would imagine the focus for the next two years will be on what will be called the ‘condition of the people’. With the Bailout and the Troika there wasn’t much scope for looking after that.
“As regards the weekend here and the election itself, Fine Gael did well in the European elections, won one of the by-elections, and performed at reasonable percentage in the local elections.
“Here in Louth we got seven seats, which is a loss of one seat, in mid-term. We are delighted with the young candidates.
“We love to see the young people coming through. John McGahon, Maria Doyle and Kevin Callan in Drogheda.
“Maria got through on Linus English transfers at the end of the day, but we always had that quota. We were never in any doubt from the first count that Maria would win that seat.
“It’s great to see the McGahon name back in politics and he has great future ahead of him, which they all have, and we’re very happy to see Dolores Min0gue get in.
“We’re very sorry for Jim Lennon who has served his area for more years than you can remember, but he just didn’t make it on this occasion. He’s a fantastic councillor.”
Fianna Fail held their lines but Stephen Egan will have to fight another day after he failed to secure a seat.
“I’ve been amazed,” he said, “and it really has been a fantastic experience and I would do it all again tomorrow.
“The people on the doors have been great to me, the voters have been very kind to me for my first turnout, and I look forward to coming back in some kind of capacity.
“It’s been a steep, fast learning curve, but a great one.
“I’ll be all set for the next time,” he concluded.