LIVE UPDATES DAY THREE: Athlone / Moate local election

* This was our live blog from the third and final day (Monday) of the local election count in Westmeath. You can find our updates from Saturday here and from Sunday here.

3.30pm: And that brings to an end a marathon two and a half days of live count centre coverage from us at TUS Athlone and Moate Community Centre.

Thank you for following our live updates, and please support local journalism by picking up the Westmeath Independent.

In Wednesday's edition we'll have lots more reaction, photos, and analysis of the local election races in South Westmeath and South Roscommon.

3.20pm: Here are the results of the tenth and final Athlone count, which involved the distribution of 760 votes for the Green Party's Louise Heavin:

Tom Cleary (Non-Party): 1,034 (+176)

Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland): 1,120 (+155)

Non-transferable: 429

That ends the Athlone race, with the five seats filled by Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, Frankie Keena, Aengus O'Rourke, John Dolan, and Paul Hogan.

In Moate, the four sitting councillors secured re-election yesterday: Tom Farrell, Vinny McCormack, Liam McDaniel and Johnnie Penrose.

3.15pm: And it's official: Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland) has taken the final seat in the Athlone electoral area of Westmeath County Council, defeating Independent Tom Cleary by a final margin of 86 votes. Full details to follow...

2.40pm: Paul Hogan is smiling and being congratulated by well-wishers as we await the tenth count here. It appears that he has enough votes to maintain his current lead and take the fifth and final Athlone seat, ahead of Tom Cleary. The count is expected soon...

2.30pm: All eyes on the counting of Louise Heavin's transfers, which are set to decide the contest for the last Athlone seat between Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland) and Tom Cleary (Non-Party).

Paul Hogan (third from right) watching the counting in Moate a short time ago, with elected councillors Tom Farrell and Aengus O'Rourke looking on also.

2.25pm: The statement issued by the Green Party's Louise Heavin, after it was confirmed today that he has lost her council seat, can be read here.

1.45pm: Louise Heavin has said that "it has been an absolute privilege to serve Athlone for the last five years and it's a bittersweet ending after an enjoyable final year as mayor. I am proud of moving the dial slightly during my time and being a younger, more progressive, female voice in the council chamber."

Her elimination follows on from yesterday where Mullingar Green Party councillor Hazel Smyth also failed to secure re-election.

Cllrs Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, Frankie Keena, and Aengus O'Rourke all commiserated with Heavin before her departure from the count centre.

We still await the tenth count.

1.30pm: The Green Party's Louise Heavin, the most recent mayor of Athlone, will not be re-elected to her seat in Westmeath County Council. This means that both the Moate and Athlone electoral areas will return all-male candidates.

Paul Hogan leads Tom Cleary by 107 votes in the race for the fifth and final Athlone seat.


The ninth count in the Athlone area, which involved the redistribution of votes from Sinn Féin's Conor Dowling-Linehan, is in:

Tom Cleary (Non-Party): 858 (+119)

Louise Heavin (Green Party): 760 (+106)

Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland): 965 (+151)

As the candidate with the fewest votes, the Green Party's Louise Heavin is eliminated. Her 760 votes will be distributed between the remaining candidates soon.

There were 268 non-transferable votes.

12.30pm: Never a dull moment here! Conor Dowling-Linehan has withdrawn his request for a recount. He is officially eliminated and we are awaiting the results from the distribution of his 644 votes.

12.10pm: Pat Murtagh, the returning officer here in Moate, has announced that the 7th count, where Ruairí Keyes' 329 votes were distributed, is to be recounted. This is due to the fact that there was only one vote between Louise Heavin (629) and Conor Dowling-Linehan (628). More details to follow...

11.50am: With Dowling-Linehan eliminated, there are now only three candidates left fighting for the final Athlone seat. Hogan has a commanding lead at the moment, but there are 644 transfers from Sinn Féin's Dowling-Linehan to be reckoned with, and which Cleary and Heavin will be counting on.


The eighth count in the Athlone area, which involved the redistribution of votes from the Irish Freedom Party's Catrina O'Donohoe, is in:

Tom Cleary (Non-Party): 739 (+97)

Conor Dowling-Linehan (Sinn Féin): 644 (+16)

Louise Heavin (Green Party): 654 (+25)

Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland): 814 (+130)

As the candidate with the fewest votes, Sinn Féin's Conor Dowling-Linehan is eliminated. His 644 votes will be distributed between the remaining candidates soon.

There were 131 non-transferable votes.

11.10am: After the seventh count, the race for the final seat in the Athlone area is closer than ever, with only 56 votes separating the candidates.

Paul Hogan remains in pole position, at 684, but he is only 13 votes ahead of Tom Cleary. Louise Heavin (629) made up great ground in this count, and has jumped ahead of Conor-Dowling Linehan (628).


The seventh count in the Athlone area, which involved the redistribution of votes from Fine Gael's Ruairí Keyes, is in:

Tom Cleary (Non-Party): 642 (+44)

Conor Dowling-Linehan (Sinn Féin): 628 (+29)

Louise Heavin (Green Party): 629 (+76)

Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland): 684 (+52)

Catrina O'Donohoe (Irish Freedom Party): 399 (+11)

As the candidate with the fewest votes, Catrina O'Donohoe is eliminated. Her 399 votes will be distributed between the remaining candidates soon.

There were 117 non-transferable votes.

10.30am: Independent Ireland's Paul Hogan believes that today "could be very short, or it could be a long day. The votes are incredibly tight. Four candidates are fighting for one seat. The next couple of counts will determine a lot.”

“With the phenomenal vote that Boxer got, it had the potential to skew things. They had to go through his surpluses, then Frankie Keena’s, O’Rourke’s, Dolan’s…”

He insisted that “I’m still very much in the hunt.”

10.00am: With counting for the hotly contested fifth seat to begin again soon, here's a quick recap of where each of the remaining Athlone candidates stand:

Paul Hogan (Independent Ireland): 632

Conor Dowling-Linehan (Sinn Féin): 599

Tom Cleary (Non-Party): 598

Louise Heavin (Green Party): 553

Catrina O'Donohoe (Irish Freedom Party): 388

Before counting was postponed last night, Conor Dowling-Linehan asserted that while it was "a disappointing day" for Sinn Féin nationally, “the count here still isn’t over. There’s a lot of votes to be distributed. There’s a lot of candidates here, and it could go any way.”

9.15am: Good morning once again from Moate Community Centre, Eve Conway here. There's only one seat left to fill in the Athlone area, and counting should begin again shortly. We'll keep you updated here with all the goings-on throughout the day.