Day of delight for McShane family

IT was a day of delight for the McShane family in Ballycastle on Monday, writes Nevin Farrell.

But for the McCamphill clan it was a day of despair.

In Ballycastle, Independent representative Padraig McShane topped the poll and his sister, Sinn Fein’s Cara McShane, finished second.

But it was a day of disaster for the McCamphills. Justin McCamphill stood for the SDLP in The Glens but when he didn’t make it it meant the party lost one of their two seats in the Glens.

And ‘over the mountain’ in Dunloy there was also gloom for his father, veteran SDLP councillor Malachy McCamphill, who lost his Ballymoney Council place.

Overall it was the day of the Independent in Moyle Council where there are now four Independents - sitting councillors Padraig McShane, Seamus Blaney, Randal McDonnell who will be joined by Colum Thompson who was first in The Glens with 466 votes.

But in Ballycastle Padraig McShane, the former Sinn Fein man, marched across the line with 535 votes. When the Times was going to press the results of the Giant’s Causeway area were not in but with the Ulster Unionists unlikely to bag three seats there, the Independents were virtually assured of being the biggest party grouping and are set to take the first Chairmanship of the new Council.

There is speculation that could be Padraig McShane.

Looking closely at Ballycastle it was a family triumph for the McShane family.

Padraig McShane topped the poll, easily exceeding the quota of 388 with a haul of 535 while his sister Cara was second with 405 votes.

The SDLP’s new-boy Donal Cunningham was third with 395 votes and Joan Baird of the Ulster Unionists claimed the fourth seat as a result of transfers.

In Ballycastle the Ulster Unionists bucked the province-wide trend by easily getting more first preference votes than the DUP. Ms Baird had 270 votes compared to 129 for Christina McFaul of the DUP.

Former Ulster Unionist Helen Harding was not selected by her party and she only obtained 71 votes as an Independent.

Veteran Independent Seamus Blaney claimed the fifth seat despite starting out with less first preference votes than Chronicle press photographer Kevin McAuley (Independent) who failed to make it across the finish line.

Ballycastle - Votes - 2,363; 38 spoiled votes; 2,325 valid votes, quota - 388. Turnout - 55.18 per cent. First preference votes: Padraig McShane (Ind) - 535; Cara McShane (SF) - 405; Donal Cunningham (SDLP) - 395; Joan Baird (UUP) - 270; Kevin McAuley (Ind) - 230; Seamus Blaney (Ind) - 207; Christina McFaul (DUP) - 129; Paul Hamilton (SF) - 83; Helen Harding (Ind) - 71.

In the Glens, despite Justin McCamphill’s result the SDLP’s Catherine McCambridge regained her seat and Sinn Fein’s new candidates Noreen McAllister and Margaret McKillop were elected.

Colourful Independent Randal McDonnell is back again so there are bound to be some controversial moments in the Council chamber.

There isn’t a Unionist quota in The Glens area but the DUP’s Walter Greer’s got 185 votes.

The Glens - Votes - 2,546; 42 spoiled votes; 2,504 valid votes, quota - 418; Turnout - 58.77 per cent. First preference votes - Colum Thompson (Ind) - 466; Margaret McKillop (SF)- 330; Justin McCamphill (SDLP) - 321; Catherine McCambridge (SDLP)- 320; Randal McDonnell (Ind) - 319; Noreen McAllister (SF) - 297; Kieran Mulholland (SF) - 266; Walter Greer (DUP) - 185.

As the Times was going to press the first results were coming in from the Causeway area and Sandra Hunter (Ulster Unionist) was the only candidate to pass the quota in the first count. Robert McIlroy and Willie Graham made it, a short time later.

Giant’s Causeway - Votes - 1,655; spoiled votes - 41; valid vote - 1,614. Quota - 270. Turnout - 54.08 per cent. First preference votes: Sandra Hunter (UUP) - 273; David McAllister (DUP) - 247; Robert McIlroy (DUP) - 243; Willie Graham (UUP) - 233; Derwyn Brewster (Ind) - 170; Sharon McKillop (TUV) - 164; George Hartin (DUP) - 150; Jacqui McVicker (UUP) - 133.