Councillor Emer Kelly with her proud parents Ann Marie and Dermot piectured after Emer's election. Photo: Paul Molloy

Emer Kelly is first ever woman to be elected in Athlone electoral area (Roscommon)

Emer Kelly (24) has been elected with a huge vote (1,946) surpassing the quota 1,403, and said that it feels "unbelievable" to be elected by her community.


The newly elected Independent councillor for the Athlone electoral area (Roscommon) said that she wasn't expecting such a huge number of people to vote for her. "I'm over the moon and I am absolutely delighted and humbled to be in this position."

"Today I'm the first woman that was ever elected in this constituency, which is great and, well, a sad statistic, really, because we're a little bit behind the times," said Ms Kelly. She added that she went into the campaign hoping for a fourth or fifth seat. "To top the poll is unbelievable really and just can't believe it."

Despite this, she said that politics is progressing and she hopes that her election will encourage more women to get involved in politics. "I think it shows that people are wanting to see something a little bit different and are willing to give new people on the block a chance."

Ms Kelly thanked for supporters who put their fate behind her at the polling station. "I just want to thank everyone so, so much who came out and voted.

"I knew going into this campaign that it was going to be tough. It was never going to be easy,. I was up against a lot of well established candidates and I just had a massive team behind me who really supported me and who helped push me through and over the line," stated Ms Kelly.

She said that the result showed that "people appreciate someone that's willing to work" and someone who's willing to be honest with them.

The newly-elected councillor also acknowledged the support of her family, saying that they were all "delighted" for her. Ms Kelly has two sisters and four brothers and added that for some of them it was their first opportunity to see the political process unfold.

In terms of the issues she would like to progress in the area, Ms Kelly would like to see the reduction of unnecessary costs associated with planning permission. She added that "speed on roads is a huge thing" and that she hopes to work with the council and the Gardai to see where they can improve road safety.

Ms Kelly also highlighted the concerns regarding flooding in Lough Funshinagh and the recent road closures in Clonown.