Returning Hanafin closes in on council seat

Mary Hanafin

By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner
Fianna Fáil candidates Mary Hanafin and Kate Feeney are set to both gain seats at the first count later today, despite a high-profile falling out over the ex-minister's decision to run.

While no official result has been announced, after 100% of votes were counted tally men said both candidates are certainties to gain seats in the Blackrock electoral area of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Party scores, just in, state Fine Gael's sitting councillor Marie Baker will top the six-seater poll with 17.38% of the vote. She will be followed by Hanafin on 14.46% and Feeney on 12.38%, with Independent Victor Boyhan in fourth place based on first preferences, with 11.37%.

The likely quota of 13% - and the surprisingly fact both Hanafin and Feeney's support have transferred to each other - means both Fianna Fáil candidates will make the grade.

It also means Baker's Fine Gael running mate, Barry Ward, is also certain to exceed the quota on the second or third count and keep his seat, after polling 10.89% of first preferences.

Barring a disaster, Boyhan's 11.37% of first preferences will mean the Independent candidate will keep the seat he already holds.

The sixth and final seat in the Blackrock area, which feeds into the 40-strong Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, will depend entirely on transfers, with People before Profit Lola Hynes on 8.10%, Fine Gael's Maurice Dockerell on 6.62%, the Greens Celine Moorkens on 6.5% and Labour's Deirdre Kingston on 6.23%.

In the 2009 local elections, the then four-seater saw Fine Gael take two, Labour one and Independents one.

The likely double-win for Fianna Fáil will prove a shock to many after a high-profile row between the party and Ms Hanafin to force herself onto the ballot despite strong opposition from leader Michéal Martin.

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