ELECTION FOCUS: In Ballymote/Tubbercurry area 13 candidates fighting for seven seats

Thirteen candidates are fighting for seven seats in the Ballymote/Tubbercurry electoral area.

The area stretches from the Roscommon border outside Ballyfarnon in the east . . . to the Mayo border near Ballina in West Sligo.

It’s described as the Ballymote/Tubbecurry area.

But it also takes in all of west Sligo, stretching south as far as Monasteraden, on the shore of Lough Gara.

Of the 13 candidates in the electoral area, six are outgoing councillors.

They are current council cathaoirleach, Fianna Fail’s Martin Baker from Riverstown; Independent Councillor Michael Clarke, and former Fianna Fail and now Independent Councillor Joe Queenan, both from West Sligo; Councillors Keith Henry from Ballymote and Paul Taylor from Gurteen, both Fianna Fail; and Fine Gael’s Dara Mulvey, from Coolaney.

Fine Gael also has three other candidates in the field.

Seeking a return to the council for the party is former councillor Gerard Mullaney from Kilmactranny, Highwood.

Also hoping to take a seat this time is Blair Feeney from Dromore West, who narrowly lost out in the last election, and Martin Connolly, from Tubbercurry.

Among the four Fianna Fail candidates is Tubbercurry businessman Romuald Mullarkey.

There are two Gallaghers running, Daniel Gallagher for Sinn Fein and Independent Barry Gallagher.

Meanwhile, another Independent, Willie Gormley, is expected to take the seat held by his late aunt, the long-time councillor and poll-topper Margaret Gormley, who died recently.

Meanwhile, many observers point out that it will be more difficult for a candidate to be elected in Ballymote/Tubbercurry/West Sligo than in the other areas of the county.

That’s because of a reduction of the number of seats in the Ballymote/Tubbercurry/West Sligo from eight to seven, with the result that the quota here will be higher.

The quota is arrived at when the number of votes is divided by the number of candidates, plus one.

The quota in Ballymote/Tubbercurry/West Sligo electoral area expected to be about 1900, compared to an expected quota of about 1200 in other areas in Sligo.