Election stage all set in Limerick as deadline for nominations passes

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Red letter day: The local election count takes place at City Hall during the 2009 elections. This time, following the merger, all counts will be done at the UL Arena, as 86 candidates chase 40 seats on the new merged local authority
MORE than 80 candidates will go before the people seeking election to Limerick City and County Council later this month.

MORE than 80 candidates will go before the people seeking election to Limerick City and County Council later this month.

Following the deadline for nominations, it is now confirmed that a total of 86 people will chase some 40 seats across Limerick.

Among this number are 33 outgoing councillors, plus eight candidates in the metropolitan area who have put their name before the people before.

The local elections, set for May 23, is the final part of the amalgamation of City and County Council.

As a result of this, six new constituencies have been created, covering vast areas of the city and county.

City East goes from the smallest constituency in Limerick, with four members, to a massive eight-seater, taking in Garryowen, Castletroy, Singland, Castleconnell and Montpelier.

Nineteen candidates will battle it out for one of the eight seats on offer in this ward - believed to be one of the largest in Europe in terms of politician-per-person.

These include the outgoing councillors Kieran O’Hanlon (Fianna Fail), Michael Sheahan, Leo Walsh and Diarmuid Scully (all Fine Gael). Cllr Orla McLoughlin will also seek re-election in this ward as an Independent member, while Noel Hannon, Jim Hickey, Derek Mulcahy and Elena Secas will go again, having missed out in 2009.

City West, the area which covers the centre of Limerick will see 18 candidates slogging it out for seven seats. These include outgoing councillors Daniel Butler, Jim Long,and Maria Byrne of Fine Gael, Labour’s Joe Leddin and Tomas Hannon, and Fianna Fail’s James Collins.

The only constituency which covers the city areas only is City North, covering much of the King’s Island, Corbally and the city areas lying north of the Shannon.

Here, 15 candidates will seek election to one of the six seats on offer.These include former general election candidate Cian Prendiville, who is part of a county-wide anti-austerity alliance ticket, Fianna Fail’s Joe Crowley Independent Pat McCarthy, and Tina O’Gorman, all of whom failed to achieve election back in 2009.

Ten councillors will contest the Cappamore/Kilmallock area, including outgoing members Michael Donegan, John Egan, Noel Gleeson Mike Houlihan, Bill O’Donnell, Eddie Ryan and Brigid Teefy.

Over in Newcastle West, 13 candidates are running for six seats, including former Mayor of Limerick Joe Harrington, and the sitting Cathaoirleach John Sheahan.

And in the Adare/Rathkeale area, 11 candidates will contest the six-seater constituency. As well as four outgoing councillors here, former poll topper Tom Neville, a son of the TD Dan Neville will seek a return to an area he last represented on County Council in 2009.

There will be a 48-page guide to all candidates with analysis of the electoral areas and issues in next week’s Limerick Leader.