Local elections

'Redemption Day' as Cllr Seamus Morris holds on to his seat in Nenagh area

Former SF member 'had to rebuild' himself after quitting party

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'Redemption Day' as Cllr Seamus Morris holds on to his seat in Nenagh area

Cllr Seamus Morris: described his election win as 'Redemption Day'

Nenagh's Cllr Seamus Morris described his win in the local elections as his "Redemption Day" following a period of upheaval after he quit Sinn Féin in 2017.

Cllr Morris, who almost topped the poll in 2014, saw his vote fall by around 700 to 1,070 first preferences. He was elected this time on 1,675 on the seventh count without reaching the quota.

"This is my Redemption Day," he said. "I have had to rebuild myself, my confidence, my ability to do my job and to carry on."

He described the election in the  Nenagh area, where 11 candidates vied for five seats, as a "tough battle".

With less than 50% of a turnout in the town area, three of those councillors come from outside the town, and the Independent councillor said that the town should have three councillors.

"I am on record as saying the town lost a great councillor in Virginia O'Dowd in 2014. The town is going to have to think about conceding to outside the town," he said.

However, he was delighted Lower Ormond had got him over the line.

"For the first time ever I put a team into Lower Ormond and they delivered for me, as they did in 2009," he said.

Cllr Morris said the challenges facing the new council include the fact that the amalgamation of north and south Tipperary county councils was "not functioning".

"It is not working properly. The executive and the councillors have to work on this," said Cllr Morris.

He also stated that the constant changes to boundaries had to be looked at as it was contributing to the disconnect between the people and the politicians.

Calling for town councils to be brought back, he gave as an example the failure of Tommy Barrett to take a seat in Thurles.

"Tommy is your perfect town councillor, but he may not be able to get the massive amount of votes needed to be elected. But these are the people who are needed, the people who care about their community," he said.

"We would be better briging back town councils than putting huge sums of money into electing four mayors," he said in reference to plans for directly elected mayors in Limerick, Waterford, Cork and Dublin.