Sunday, September 09, 2007
Two Elections in a Week
The law stipulates that when a councillor dies, retires, resigns or is excluded then rather than holding a by-election, the successor is appointed onto the council. The procedures outlining the appointment are set-out in each Council's Standing Orders, so they can vary from County to County.
The process is straight-forward if the councillor was elected for a particular party, in which case the party nominates the successor to be co-opted. However, the situation is different if, as in my case, the councillor was elected as an independent.
For instance, standing orders in Cork state that if an independent councillor goes, then their seat must be given to the candidate who finished just below them in the original election result of June 2004. In early summer of this year when an independent councillor died their seat went to a Sinn Fein person.
In Meath my seat also had to go to an independent. When I was elected to the Council in June 2004 I was asked to give a name in case of eventualities such as this. I gave the name of my election agent, Mr Eoin Holmes, and it was his name that went before the council for co-option on Monday.
I have known Eoin since school days, when he lived in Beamore, Co Meath. He now lives with his wife and family in Clonalvy (close to Ardcath and Stamullen).
I'm glad to say that the Council procedures worked well and he was formally adopted as a Councillor for the Slane Electoral Area on Monday afternoon last.
I wish him well!
The week also saw the election of Eamon Gilmore as Labour Party Leader. As his Director of Elections I was delighted with the result. It was a fairly straight-forward campaign from the beginning, and although it involved a few early mornings and late nights, it was a very enjoyable couple of weeks. Now the hard work starts....