Unionism 'has lesson to learn' as Sinn Féin makes historic inroads
Unionism 'has lesson to learn' as Sinn Féin makes historic inroads


Local election results show that Sinn Féin continues to power its way to become the largest party in the north of Ireland at council level, ahead of the unionist DUP, with some commentators suggesting that nationalist voters could now outnumber unionist voters for the first time.

Around half of the 462 council seats have been filled, with Sinn Féin leading the way with eighty seats. Those included two historic breakthroughs for the party, electing councillors in parts of Ballymena and Lisburn for the first time, both on the first count.

In the Ballymena Town area, Bréanainn Lyness received 926 first preference votes, while in Lisburn North, Paul Burke topped the first preference tally with 1,239.

Sinn Féin’s best performances so far have been in Crotlieve in County Down and Craigavon, County Armagh where the party’s vote share increased by 16.4% and 14.6% respectively.

Speaking on RTÉ radio, Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O’Neill said her party was capturing the public mood.

“We fought a very positive campaign and no doubt the public have embraced and endorsed that approach,” she said.

“We are making historic breakthroughs and gaining seats across every county and in new ground and territory, it is a good sign.”

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald said the results showed “a very strong showing for Sinn Féin right across the north”.

Speaking at Belfast City Hall, Ms McDonald said the big issue of the council elections had been the need for the return of the Stormont powersharing institutions.

“We ran a very positive campaign and we are very pleased that the response to that has just been so positive by way of returns.

“In the course of the election a lot of things were discussed, all the local issues, but in truth the big issue was that of a return of the executive, the need to have government, the need to have leadership, the need to work together, to make politics work for everybody.

The DUP have so far won 65 seats, losing some seats to nationalists but gaining others from rival unionists.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said that if, as expected, Sinn Féin emerges as the largest party in local government, unionism will have to “look at where it’s going”.

He said: “Well, let’s see when the final votes are all counted who is the largest party, but if Sinn Féin do emerge as the largest party in the council elections I think yet again, as I’ve been saying, consistently, there are lessons that unionism needs to learn here.”

The Alliance Party has had a good first day of counting, with 34 seats, while the UUP has 24 and the SDLP won 15 seats. There were three TUV councillors and seven independents, including three independent republicans, Barry Monteith in Dungannon, Dan Kerr in Torrent and Kevin McElvogue in Clogher Valley, all in County Tyrone.

The Green Party has one seat, with party leader Mal O’Hara losing his seat in Belfast.

Aontú’s Liam McElhinney came closest to election so far, being eliminated on the last count in Benbradagh, County Derry. The IRSP have increased their vote share but were eliminated in both Belfast counts.

Several electoral areas have not yet begun counting, and the final result will not be known until late tomorrow. The following are the results as of 10.30pm on Friday night:

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council


Anne Marie Logue (Sinn Féin)
Maighréad Ní Chonghaile (Sinn Féin)

Antrim (complete)

Lucille O’Hagan (Sinn Féin) Elected

Ballyclare (complete)

Gerard Magee (Sinn Féin) Eliminated

Dunsilly (complete)

Henry Cushinan (Sinn Féin) Elected
Siobhán McErlean (Aontú) Eliminated
Annie O’Lone (Sinn Féin) Elected

Glengormley (complete)

Michael Goodman (Sinn Féin) Elected
Rosie Kinnear (Sinn Féin) Elected
Eamonn McLaughlin (Sinn Féin) Elected


Taylor McGrann (Sinn Féin)


Emmanuel Mullen (Sinn Féin)

Ards and North Down Borough Council

Ards Peninsula (complete)

Noel Sands (Sinn Féin) Eliminated

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

Armagh (complete)

Daniel Connolly (Aontú) Eliminated
Fergal Donnelly (Sinn Féin) Elected
Sarah Duffy (Sinn Féin) Elected
Ashley Mallon (Sinn Féin) Elected
John Óg O’Kane (Sinn Féin) Elected

Banbridge (complete)

Chris McCartan (Sinn Féin) Elected
Kevin Savage (Sinn Féin) Elected

Craigavon (complete)

Jude Mallon (Sinn Féin) Elected
Catherine Nelson (Sinn Féin) Elected


Bróna Haughey (Sinn Féin)

Lagan River

Vincent McAleenan (Sinn Féin)

Lurgan (complete)

Keith Haughian (Sinn Féin) Elected
Liam Mackle (Sinn Féin) Elected
Sorchá McGeown (Sinn Féin) Elected
Mary O’Dowd (Sinn Féin) Elected


Paul Duffy (Sinn Féin)
Claire McConville-Walker (Sinn Féin)

Belfast City Council


Geraldine McAteer (Sinn Féin) Elected
Sean Napier (Sinn Féin) Eliminated

Black Mountain

Ciaran Beattie (Sinn Féin) Elected
Arder Carson (Sinn Féin) Elected
Michael Donnelly (Sinn Féin) Elected
Róis-Máire Donnelly (Sinn Féin)
Gerard Herdman (Aontú) Eliminated
Ursula Meighan (Workers Party) Eliminated
Dan Murphy (IRSP) Eliminated
Áine McCabe (Sinn Féin)
Ronan McLaughlin (Sinn Féin) Elected


Emma-Jane Faulkner (Sinn Féin)
John Gormley (Sinn Féin)
Paddy Lynn (Workers Party)

Castle (complete)

Brónach Anglin (Sinn Féin) Elected
Lily Kerr (Workers Party) Eliminated
Conor Maskey (Sinn Féin) Elected


Patrick Crossan (Workers Party)
Joe Duffy (Sinn Féin)
Matt Garrett (Sinn Féin)
Caoimhín McCann (Sinn Féin)
Luke McCann (Aontú)
Julieann McNally (Independent)
Clíodhna Nic Bhranair (Sinn Féin)
Séanna Walsh (Sinn Féin)


Tina Black (Sinn Féin) Elected
Claire Canavan (Sinn Féin) Elected
Michael Kelly (IRSP) Eliminated
Tony Walls (Workers Party) Eliminated

Lisnasharragh (complete)

Stevie Jenkins (Sinn Féin) Eliminated


Nichola Bradley (Sinn Féin)
JJ Magee (Sinn Féin)
Ryan Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Fiona McCarthy (Workers Party)
Tomás Ó Néill (Sinn Féin)


Caitríona Mallaghan (Sinn Féin)


Pádraig Donnelly (Sinn Féin)

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council


Cathal McLaughlin (Independent)
Ciarán McQuillan (Sinn Féin)
Leanne Peacock (Sinn Féin)


Ciarán Archibald (Sinn Féin)
Sean Bateson (Sinn Féin) Elected
Gemma Brolly (Aontú) Eliminated

Benbradagh (complete)

Liam McElhinney (Aontú)
Sean McGlinchey (Sinn Féin) Elected
Kathleen McGurk (Sinn Féin) Elected
Dermot Nicholl (Sinn Féin) Elected


Emma Thompson (Sinn Féin)


Niamh Archibald (Sinn Féin)

Limavady (complete)

John Boyle (Aontú) Eliminated
Brenda Chivers (Sinn Féin) Elected

The Glens

Oliver McMullan (Sinn Féin)
Cara McShane (Sinn Féin)
John Robbin (Aontú)
Maighréad Watson (Sinn Féin)

Derry City and Strabane District Council


Emmet Doyle (Aontú)
Sandra Duffy (Sinn Féin)
John McGowan (Sinn Féin)
Patrick Murphy (Sinn Féin)

Derg (complete)

Caroline Devine (Sinn Féin) Elected
Leza Marie Houston (Aontú) Eliminated
Ruairí McHugh (Sinn Féin) Elected
Antaine Ó Fearghail (Sinn Féin) Elected

Faughan (complete)

Alex Duffy (Sinn Féin) Elected
Sean Fleming (Sinn Féin) Elected


Conor Heaney (Sinn Féin)
Seán Mac Cearáin (Aontú)
Grace Uí Niallais (Sinn Féin)


Raymond Barr (Independent)
Paul Boggs (Sinn Féin) Elected
Paul Gallagher (Independent)
Brian Harte (Sinn Féin) Elected
Fergal Leonard (Sinn Féin) Elected
Darán Mac Meanman (Aontú) Eliminated

The Moor

Darryl Christy (Aontú)
Gary Donnelly (Independent)
Aisling Hutton (Sinn Féin)
Patricia Logue (Sinn Féin)
Emma McGinley (Sinn Féin)

Waterside (complete)

Caitlin Deeney (Sinn Féin) Elected
Christopher Jackson (Sinn Féin) Elected

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council


Dermot Browne (Sinn Féin)
Tommy Maguire (Sinn Féin) Elected
Andrew McManus (Sinn Féin)

Erne East (complete)

Sheamus Greene (Sinn Féin) Elected Noeleen Hayes (Sinn Féin) Elected
Eamon Keenan (Independent)
Tina McDermott (Independent)
Thomas O’Reilly (Sinn Féin) Elected

Erne North

Debbie Coyle (Sinn Féin)
John Feely (Sinn Féin)

Erne West

Elaine Brough (Sinn Féin)
Anthony Feely (Sinn Féin)
Declan McArdle (Sinn Féin)
Paul McGoldrick (Independent)

Mid Tyrone

Roisin Devine Gallagher (Sinn Féin) Elected
Anne Marie Fitzgerald (Sinn Féin) Elected
Padraigin Kelly (Sinn Féin) Elected
Patrick Withers (Sinn Féin) Elected


Amy Ferguson (Socialist Party)
Catherine Kelly (Sinn Féin)
Marty McColgan (Sinn Féin)
Barry McElduff (Sinn Féin)

West Tyrone (complete)

Glenn Campbell (Sinn Féin) Elected
Ann-Marie Donnelly (Sinn Féin) Elected
Stephen McCann (Sinn Féin) Elected
Colette McNulty (Sinn Féin) Elected

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Castlereagh South

Daniel Bassett (Sinn Féin)
Ryan Carlin (Sinn Féin)

Downshire West

Siobhán Murphy (Sinn Féin)

Killultagh (complete)

Gary McCleave (Sinn Féin) Elected

Lisburn North (complete)

Paul Burke (Sinn Féin) Elected

Lisburn South (complete)

Aisling Flynn (Sinn Féin) Eliminated

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

Ballymena (complete)

Bréanainn Lyness (Sinn Féin) Elected


Ian Friary (Sinn Féin) Elected


Archie Rae (Sinn Féin)

Coast Road

James McKeown (Sinn Féin) Elected

Mid Ulster District Council


Córa Corry (Sinn Féin)
Paddy Kelly (Sinn Féin)
Noreen McEldowney (Aontú)
Brian McGuigan (Sinn Féin) Elected
Sean McPeake (Sinn Féin) Elected

Clogher Valley

Gael Gildernew (Sinn Féin) Elected
Eugene McConnell (Sinn Féin)
Kevin McElvogue (Independent) Elected
Seán McGuigan (Sinn Féin)

Cookstown (complete)

Gavin Bell (Sinn Féin) Elected
Cathal Mallaghan (Sinn Féin) Elected
John McNamee (Sinn Féin) Elected
Louise Taylor (Independent) Eliminated

Dungannon (complete)

Dominic Molloy (Sinn Féin) Elected
Barry Monteith (Independent) Elected
Denise Mullen (Aontú) Eliminated
Deirdre Varsani (Sinn Féin)
Marian Vincent (Independent) Eliminated

Magherafelt (complete)

Sean Clarke (Sinn Féin) Elected
Darren Totten (Sinn Féin) Elected


Sheila Fullerton (Aontú)
Jolene Groogan (Sinn Féin)
Donal McPeake (Sinn Féin)
Ian Milne (Sinn Féin)

Torrent (complete)

Eimear Carney (Sinn Féin) Elected
Paul Kelly (Sinn Féin) Eliminated
Dan Kerr (Independent) Elected
Niall McAleer (Sinn Féin) Elected
Nuala McLernon (Sinn Féin) Elected
Teresa Quinn (Independent) Eliminated

Newry City, Mourne and Down District Council


Mark Gibbons (Independent)
Kate Murphy (Sinn Féin)
Selina Murphy (Sinn Féin) Elected
Gerry O’Hare (Sinn Féin)
Mickey Ruane (Sinn Féin)


Philip Campbell (Sinn Féin)
Oonagh Hanlon (Sinn Féin) Elected
Éamonn Mac Con Midhe (Independent)
Louise Rooney (Sinn Féin)


Nicola Grant (Workers Party)
Valerie Harte (Sinn Féin)
Geraldine Kearns (Sinn Féin)
Cathal King (Sinn Féin)
Sharon Loughran (Aontú)
Aidan Mathers (Sinn Féin)


Dermot Kennedy (Sinn Féin)

Slieve Croob

Jim Brennan (Sinn Féin)
Roisin Howell (Sinn Féin)
Rosemary McGlone (Aontú)
Siobhán O’Hare (Sinn Féin)

Slieve Gullion

Aoife Finnegan (Sinn Féin) Elected
Mickey Larkin (Sinn Féin)
Oonagh Magennis (Sinn Féin)
Declan Murphy (Sinn Féin) Elected
Barra Ó Muiri (Sinn Féin)
Aine Quinn (Sinn Féin) Elected
Liam Reichenberg (Aontú)

The Mournes

Willie Clarke (Sinn Féin) Elected
Leeanne McEvoy (Sinn Féin) Elected
Michael Rice (Sinn Féin) Elected

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