Local Elections: Kildare County Council results

Social Democrats win seven seats on local authority, with close battle between Sinn Féin and Aontú candidates in Newbridge

The Newbridge electoral area in Co Kildare was the last to be settled in this year’s local elections, with multiple recounts taking place due to so little separating two of the final candidates.

There was talk of legal challenges during the battle between James Stokes of Sinn Féin and Melissa Byrne of Aontú not to be eliminated on the 10th count.

Ms Byrne was two votes behind Mr Stokes after the first recount, which Sinn Féin sought after the original 10th count put its candidate a single vote behind Aontú. Sinn Féin sought a third recount after the second had Ms Byrne and Mr Stokes tied on the same number of votes, which would have seen Ms Byrne move on due to her having more first preference ballots. Mr Stokes (18) moved on to the 11th count after finishing two votes ahead of Ms Byrne.

However, Ms Byrne did not transfer enough votes to Mr Stokes allow him overtake Tom McDonnell who on the 11th count, became the 949th and final councillor to win a seat across the State, being elected along with sitting Fianna Fáil councillors Noel Heavey and Rob Power.


More broadly, it was a good local election in Co Kildare for women candidates, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Social Democrats. It was a bad weekend for Sinn Féin and a terrible one for the Green Party.

Four candidates got more than 2,000 votes and three of them were women. Aoife Breslin (Labour) in the Athy local electoral area (LEA) received 2,347 votes, more than any other candidate in the county. Two O’Gradys, Tracey and Peggy (no relation both Fine Gael candidates in Newbridge) received 2,084 and 2,016 votes respectively. Joe Neville, for Fine Gael, received 2,293 votes in the Leixlip LEA.

The Social Democrats saw significant success here, with seven of its national total of 35 councillors elected in the home county of party co-founder and Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy.

First-time candidate Peter Melrose, who gained national attention in 2021 when he highlighted the sale of a new housing development to a vulture fund, was elected in Maynooth. Other successful candidates included Claire O’Rourke (Celbridge), Aidan Farrelly (Clane), Pat Balfe (Kildare), Nuala Killeen (Celbridge), Bill Clear (Naas) and Chris Pender (Newbridge).

It was very much as you were for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael with most incumbents, or their replacements, getting elected. The parties finished with 12 seats each.

One newcomer was Romanian woman Lumi Panaite Fahey, who went from asking advice from Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan on a matter relating to antisocial behaviour to being a candidate for the party in a matter of days. She won a seat in the Celbridge area after campaigning on local issues including an end to the stand-off over access to Castletown House.

Sinn Féin’s Noel Connolly lost his seat in the Kildare LEA, but his party colleague Shónagh Ní Raghallaigh was elected.

The Green Party lost incumbents Peter Hamilton in Maynooth and Bob Quinn in Naas. Only one independent was elected, the evergreen Seamie Moore.

Athy: 5 seats

Celbridge: 4 seats

Clane: 5 seats

Kildare: 5 seats

Leixlip: 3 seats

Maynooth: 5 seats

Naas: 7 seats

Newbridge: 6 seats

View 2019 Kildare County Council resultsOpens in new window ]

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times