68 candidates, so far, seeking 37 council seats

By Kate Heaney

There are currently 68 candidates seeking to take one of 37 seats in the election to Donegal County Council taking place on Friday, June 7.

A number of parties have yet to finalise their candidate selection and more independent candidates or parties may yet declare their intention to stand here.


Councillors leaving the fray this time around, who have so far announced their intention to stand down, are Fianna Fáil’s Rena Donaghey and Gerry Crawford, Independent Nicholas Crossan and Sinn Féin Cllr Liam Doherty. Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher has already stepped down.

New candidates standing this time include four from the 100% Redress Party who are seeking to represent the thousands affected by defective building materials.

Aontú are running five candidates and Labour are running two so far Fianna Fáil have 12 nominations, Fine Gael nine. Sinn Féin have 17 and there are 17 Independent candidates standing at the time of going to press. Cllr Frank McBrearty Jnr has been included in those running in this article although, he will announce his final intention on May 1.

Nominations do not close until midday on Saturday, May 18.

During the last local elections in 2019 some 85 candidates stood, 17 of which were female. In the final outcome four were elected to the local authority – Rena Donaghey, Marie Therese Gallagher, Niamh Kennedy and the late Noreen McGarvey.

So far there are 13 female candidates declared for June’s local elections.

This number could increase with Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin to finalise their selections and other candidates may come forward.


Speaking on the lack of female councillors at the end of last year, Cllr Niamh Kennedy said it was her view that “a lot of females look at council and see a male dominated forum.

I think it is easier if you are independent.

The party systems tend to preserve the status quo and don’t want to lose any male councillors in order to parachute in a female candidate.

“Time will tell. I don’t know if many women out there have the appetite for it. If they have not expressed an interest at this stage, time is short to build a profile,” she added..

Anyone wishing to vote in both the local and European elections which are being held on Friday, June 7 must register to vote, if not already registered by May 20.

A Referendum on an EU Unified Patent Court, due to held on the same date, has now been deferred.

The make up of the current county council is Fianna Fáil 12, Fine Gael 6, Sinn Féin 10, Labour one and eight Independents.

Anyone wishing to stand for election to a local authority must be nominated during the week that takes place four weeks before the polling day. They may nominate themselves or be nominated by a person who is registered to vote in the local authority area. You may be nominated to stand in more than one area.

Nomination forms are available from the local authority returning officer.

Anyone affiliated with a political party, must submit a Certificate of Party Affiliation with their nomination form.

Both independent and party affiliated candidates can include a photograph to be included on the ballot paper.

The photo size and other requirements are detailed in the nomination form.

The returning officer must rule on whether the nomination paper is valid within one hour of when it is submitted.

Anyone wishing to vote in these elections must be registered to vote by Monday, May 20, 2024.

Below are the nominees to date, in each of Donegal’s five Municipal Districts. An (s) denotes a sitting councillor.

Letterkenny/Milford MD – 10 seats
Ciaran Brogan(s) FF
Donal Coyle(s) FF
Donal Mandy Kelly(s) FF
Liam Blaney(s) FF
Jimmy Kavanagh(s) FG
Aaron Sweeney FG
Gerry McMonagle(s) SF
Sandra Haughey SF
Ulick Hughes SF
Maria Doherty SF
Pauric McGarvey(s) Ind
Michael McBride(s) Ind
John O’Donnell(s) Ind
Selina O’Donnell Ind
Kevin Bradley(s) Ind
Mary T Sweeney Aontú
Tomas Sean Devine 100%

Glenties MD – 7 seats
Anthony Molloy(s) FF
John Reilly FF
Joseph Molloy FG
Brian Carr SF
John Shéamuis Ó Fearraigh(s) SF
Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig(s) Ind
Kevin O’Donnell Ind
Michael McClafferty(s) Ind
Jimmy Duffy Lab
Michael Harkin Aontú
Anne Marie Rodgers FF

Jonathon Stewart Ind

Inishowen MD – 9 seats
Fionan Bradley FF
Paul Canning(s)FF
Martin McDermott(s) FF
Johnny McGuinness(s)FG
Jack Murray(s) SF
Terry Crossan(s) SF
Niamh McGuinness SF
Albert Doherty(s) SF
Toni Devine SF
Adrian McMyler Ind
Kim McMenamin Ind
Seamus McGee Ind
Paul B McKinney Ind
Martin Farren(s) Lab
Joy Beard 100%
Ali Farren 100%
Liam Mulligan Aontú

Donegal MD – 6 seats
Martin Hegarty FF
Michael Naughton(s) FF
Barry Sweeney (s) FG
Manus Boyle FG
Claudia Kennedy FG
Linda Boyle SF
Noel Andrew Jordan(s) SF
Michael McMahon(s) SF
Jimmy Brogan Ind
Niamh Kennedy(s) Ind
Tom Conaghan(s) Ind
Patrick Brogan Aontú

Lifford/Stranorlar MD – 6 seats
Patrick McGowan(s) FF
Martin Harley(s) FG
Garvan Connolly FG
Gary Doherty(s) SF
Tony McDaid SF
Dakota McMenamin SF
Niall McConnell Ind
Frank McBrearty jn(s) Ind
Charles Ward 100%
Rebecca McDaid Aontú

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