Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil still on course to strike a deal to keep control of Laois County Council

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil expected to strike a deal to keep control of Laois County Council

A Fine Gael Fianna Fáil alliance remains the most likely outcome for the new Laois County Council.

Talks are still ongoing over who will fill the position of Cathaoirleach as the newly elected councillors get ready for their first Council meeting on Friday.

It is expected that both parties will replicate a version of their deal from the last Council term.

Fine Gael is in the majority driving seat after Fianna Fáil lost a seat in the Portlaoise area at the recent local elections.

Negotiations will continue as the clock ticks down to tomorrow’s AGM.

In the last term, Fianna Fáil had seven seats and Fine Gael had six. They were left with 13 out of 19 and struck a deal to gain control of the Council.

A source has said that this deal has ‘flipped’ to see Fine Gael with the majority and they believe the same deal will continue but FG as the larger party would be entitled to hold the role of Chair three times out of the next five years.

Fine Gael’s other avenue would be to go into a coalition with Labour and Independent councillors to rule the roost on Laois County Council. A deal with FF is looking more likely but won’t be confirmed until the meeting tomorrow.

MORE: Fine Gael deal with Labour and Independents in Laois to see Fianna Fáil lose out

Local county councillors will share out nearly 80 committee jobs, chairmanships and vice-chairmanships when the newly elected public representatives will convene tomorrow for their first Laois County Council.

After local election returning officer, Donal Brennan declares the poll outcome and lists the 19 elected members, the second item on the agenda is the allocation of various positions. 

The first election will be the top job of Cathaoirleach which the two parties have rotated in Laois for the past five years. It's likely that a similar arrangement will be reached over the next term. The Leas Cathaoirleach (vice-chair) role will also be shared by FG and FF councillors.

MORE: Nearly 80 committee positions to be shared between Laois county councillors