The big surprise in the Dundalk East district in the 2009 local elections was the success of Green Party candidate Marianne Butler who took the late Dr Mary Grehan’s seat.
She joined party colleague Mark Dearey who held his seat in Dundalk Central.
In Dundalk, the Greens and Fianna Fail turned the national trend on its head. they were decimated everywhere else.
So this was quite a debut by Marianne Butler, a business studies graduate and former bank official.
She polled 441 first preferences and was elected on the 5th count with 570.
Sinn Fein’s Kevin Meenan topped the poll in Dundalk East with 550 first preferences and was elected on the second count with 556.
The quota was 551.
She took over Mark Dearey’s council seat when he joined the Seanad.
“I am delighted to continue working for the people of Dundalk East and I look forward to meeting the residents’ associations and Tidy Towns committees in Dundalk South including Blackrock and working with them in the coming months and years,” she said at the time.
So she does look likely to take a seat for the Greens in the new Dundalk-South municipal area.
Proud of her Dundalk roots, and the town’s status as the largest in the country, she was quick to respond to reports that RTE was going to close its Dundalk radio and television studio suit.
As council cathaoirleach she wrote to Tom Savage, the Louth man who chairs the RTÉ board, seeking his support for the retention of a meaningful RTÉ presence in Dundalk.
RTE now has a state-of-the-art studio based at Dundalk Institute of Technology.
This is going to be a tough battle.
There are twelve candidates declared so far. It is not going to be an easy fight by any means.
But Cllr Butler has a good record and has worked hard over the last five years.