There are five seats in the Nenagh Local Election Area. Aerial photo: Ger Doyle

It’s vital that Nenagh retains seats

They say that 24 hours is a long time in politics, but it is hard to comprehend that it has been five years since we had the last local election. My experience of running in the last election was a great learning curve for me, and although I am not putting myself forward on this occasion, I am closely observing this particular election with keen interest.

I really feel that this is a very important election as I feel the country is in a state of transition both socially and economically, and it is vital that we have the right public representatives in place both locally and nationally to show leadership, integrity and most importantly to put the best interests of the people to the fore when making decisions that affect us as a community and a as country.

The loss of the town councils has been sorely missed - the disappearance of that extra representation in each and every town has left a void and it really frustrates me to think that the Government at the time felt that it was a good idea to remove our town councils, when they worked so well together as a team in the best interests of the towns in which they served - the removal of which was a massive step backwards.

Currently in the Nenagh Local Election Area we have five seats. The area stretches from Redwood (near Portumna) all the way to the Limerick Road bordering the Five Alley and all the areas in between. In the 2019 local elections we saw all five sitting councilors re-elected to their seats, but there will be changes on this occasion as both Cllr Hughie McGrath and Cllr Ger Darcy have decided not to contest.

Cllr Hughie McGrath and Cllr Seamie Morris are the only two councilors from Nenagh town, and although all five councilors represent the whole Nenagh LEA, a large portion of the town issues naturally filter through our two town-based councillors in the same way that the other elected councillors are busy dealing with issues in their own respective areas within the Nenagh LEA, and all do a fantastic job I might add.

In addition to this, the town needs sufficient representation when securing funding and having potentially one elected representative in an area the size of Nenagh is simply not good enough when we have the ability to retain more seats given the population and voting power of the town itself.


With Cllr Hughie McGrath not contesting this local election we are at risk of losing a town-based council seat, a seat which is vital to represent the town going forward. Voting statistics for the town in the past have been extremely poor with a turnout of approximately 40% - this makes it really difficult for local candidates who are town-based to get elected as they find it extremely difficult to pick up votes outside of the town where they are not as well known. There are only three town-based candidates contesting the elections in June - sitting Independent Cllr Seamie Morris, Labour Party candidate Louise Morgan Walsh and Sinn Féin candidate Damian O Donoghue. All the other candidates are based within the Nenagh Local Election Area but are based outside of the town in their respective rural areas - all of equal importance and all of whom need sufficient representation.

I think it is vitally important that the people of Nenagh realise this when voting in the Local Elections this coming June. The town needs at least two, if not three, town based elected representatives going forward and I would urge voters to firstly come out and vote, and secondly for voters in all areas to vote for the people you feel will not only turn up for the photoshoots, but vote for the candidate who will roll up their sleeves and put in the hard work, vote for the candidate who you feel will truly represents you and your family for the next five years. I am always in favour of change and adding an injection of youth. But sometimes you just can’t overlook experience and a proven track record of getting results and for that reason when you look at our sitting councillors who are running for re-election, I would be slow to replace any of them.


No one can question the hard work and proven track records of Cllrs Michael O’Meara, Joe Hannigan and Seamie Morris, all of whom are seeking re-election. But, how can you ignore the continued hard work of Damian O Donoghue, particularly during the Covid pandemic. Despite not being elected in 2019, likewise with Louise Morgan Walsh, who was also instrumental during the pandemic. All this needs to be considered when we enter the polling stations in June.

We are very fortunate to have such great candidates both experienced and new and I wish them all the very best of luck in the coming weeks as they intensify their election campaigns.

Again, I would encourage people to register to vote and to have your say, and if there is a candidate you really want to see elected, they will need your Number One vote as no candidate is guaranteed a seat.