31 May 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

• Patsy McArdle • Michael Fisher

DESPITE the serious slippage in support for Sinn Féin, in several constituencies across the country in last week’s Local Government elections, and the loss of a seat on Monaghan County Council, local Dáil Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin claimed yesterday (Wed) the party “still produced a phenomenal performance” in Co. Monaghan! He pointed out, in a postelection count statement, that Sinn Féin in Co. Monaghan actually recorded a small percentage increase on its 2014 showing, securing 34 per cent of the ‘number one’ votes cast at the polls last Friday.

“This was definitely against the trend state-wide” said Deputy Ó Caoláin and was, he added, “a tribute to all nine Sinn Féin candidates who stood in the three electoral areas in the county”. “With more than one in every three people who voted in Co. Monaghan having made Sinn Féin their number one choice, the party retains its largest political party status on Monaghan County Council with six seats. He felt however that it could have been, and should have been, seven seats and they were greatly disappointed at losing the former councilor, Jackie Crowe from our County Council representation.

He declared however that they were still going forward with “an experienced, hardworking team which will consolidate their position and prepare for future gains”. Deputy Ó Caoláin continued: “I would like to record my personal congratulations to our successful candidates, Cathy Bennett, Pat Treanor, Colm Carthy, Noel Keelan, Brian McKenna and Seán Conlon. I want to also extend a very deserved ‘well done’ to our new candidates who were unsuccessful on this occasion— Rosie Smyth-O’Harte and Catriona Moen. They each demonstrated great resolve throughout the campaign and were genuine team players”.

Deputy O Caolain said his last and most important thanks must go to their colleague and friend, and now former councillor, Jackie Crowe, who had given decades of service to the republican cause and who had given exemplary service to the people of Castleblayney as their dedicated elected representative over the past twenty five years.

He continued: “A friend for over forty years, Jackie has been a key player on our team and while I have every confidence that Jackie will continue to contribute to constituency servicing and party building work, we will dearly miss his contribution to Council debates, cross-border development structures and his direct representation role as an elected councillor.

“The loss of Jackie Crowe is a blow to Sinn Féin but it is also a blow to Castleblayney and that part of the old Mid-Monaghan electoral area that remains with it. Jackie was a champion for Castleblayney. But, unnoticed by many, he was also a champion for cross-border, cross-community outreach to the representatives of unionism north of the border, fostering a new trust and understanding that is required work if we are to reap the full hope and promise of the Good Friday Agreement. Jackie was very much a part of…

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