Local elections to go ahead as normal in County Sligo

Tomorrow’s local election in County Sligo will go ahead as normal.

That’s despite calls to postpone the election following a complaint lodged by Fine Gael with the gardai about alleged fraud in relation to the disabled postal voter list.

On this the eve of the local elections, Sligo is at the centre of national attention because of a Fine Gael complaint about alleged fraud in relation to the disabled postal voter list.

But any suggestions that the election — in all or part of County Sligo — might be postponed have now been discounted by Sligo County Council.

In a statement to Ocean FM News, the council says it has carried out an examination of all of the applications submitted for inclusion in the Postal Voters’ list for persons with a physical illness or disability.

The council says the documentation presented in respect of each person included is in accordance with legal requirements.

The council points out that at the time of application for inclusion in the Postal Voters list, all applicants are required to declare that they are unable to go in person to vote at a polling station due to a physical disability, and that they are ordinarily resident at the address given.

Also, all applications included the required Medical Certificate signed and stamped by a registered Medical Practitioner certifying that the applicant has a stated physical illness or a physical disability and is unable to go in person to a polling station to vote.

The council says it’s an offence to knowingly give false information on application, and all applicants are made aware of this at the time of application.

In relation to the formal complaint to Gardai about a number of those on the postal voters list, the council says it will assist the Gardai with any enquiries, and will furnish any material documents in our possession to them.

Finally, in relation the suggestion that the Election be delayed, the Council says it has sought legal advice about this.

It points out that polling day has been fixed by Ministerial Order for this Friday, and Notice of Election has been published by Sligo County Council.

The council says there is no provision in law to defer or delay an election, other than in the case of the death of a candidate before the commencement of the Poll.

However, it adds that there is legal provision to question the outcome of a Local Election by way of a petition to the Circuit Court within 28 days of the declaration of the result.

All of which means that although the local election will go ahead tomorrow as normal in County Sligo, the declaration of the final results will, in all likelihood, not be the end of this controversy, particularly if there are close finishes.