The campaign is starting to intensify in the Dundalk-South area. It seems to be the land of independents with five independent candidates contesting the election.
The retirement of Martin Bellew has opened the door for a new independent voice. He stormed home with 874 first preferences in 2009
The independents - Brian O’Neill, Maeve Yore, Oliver Morgan, Eamonn O’Boyle, and Sean Bellew - may split the vote in this seven seat ward.
Tomas Sharkey topped the poll the last time with 2,236 vote and would be the favourite to come out on top again.
Kevin Meenan will be popular on his home turf in Muirhevnamore. Jennifer Green faces her first election and her profile as chairperson of Dundalk Town Council will be to her advantage. Although Sinn Fein don’t traditionally transfer well, there could be a space for a third Sinn Fein councillor.
Fine Gael’s Linus English and Paddy Malone may split votes because they both live in Blackrock.
Maria Doyle would be the favourite to retain her seat.
Fianna Fail have opted to run just two candidates - Declan Breathnach and Steven Egan. Breathnach is a veteran. Egan will battle to win a seat.
Green Party’s Marianne Butler polled well in the last election and has been vocal on the Dundalk Town Council. Popular on the ground, she is a strong contender.
O’Boyle and Bellew could be seen as just jumping ship to stay on the council ship. The Facebook controversy surrounding Morgan could have an impact on his campaign.
O’Neill and Yore could be the new independents. VERDICT: Sharkey, Meenan, Green, Doyle, Breathnach, Butler and an independent - O’Boyle or Yore.