The record will show that Paddy Bracken got the most votes in this new electoral area, but his big victory masks a less than convincing result for Fianna Fáil.
Up to 2009 FF had six Mountmellick Town Councillors and three of the four county council seats. Less than a decade later, just one FF county councillor has been returned to Laois County Council from the county’s third biggest town.
Paddy Bracken’s victory also reflects badly on the party’s strategy in this area. He had to force party HQ to put him onto the ticket after local FF members voted against him.
Cllr Bracken said he was honoured to represent Mountmellick and grateful for the work done.
“It is going to be a tough task in terms of the new boundaries but I will do my best for the people of Mountmellick,” he said.
The Mountmellick man believes reform of local Government was overdue but the loss is the town councillors and council service is bad for his town.
“Certainly it (the town council) will be a huge loss to the people,” he said.
Cllr Seamus McDonald was very pleased to be re-elected, continuing his unbroken winning streak which stretches back to 1985, when he successfully contested the first of six elections.
“This was the first time I thought it would be very difficult to be elected due to the fact that it is a new extended area and I am delighted the people have put their faith in me,” said the Rosenallis man.
“I have known some good days and some bad days in my time on the council and am looking forward to working on behalf of the people for the next five years,” he said.
Of FF’s five candidates just two were returned in this area. The wound of this underachievement will be made sorer by the fact that former FF man Brendan Phelan won convincingly and is now a power broker in the new council.