*Cllr Ian Lynch. Photograph: Eamon Ward
SITTING CLLR Ian Lynch (IND) is the first confirmed candidate for the Kilrush electoral area in the 2024 local elections.
As he was elected Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District, Cllr Lynch confirmed that he would be contesting his third local election next year.
He reminded his colleagues that there is still twelve months of the Council term to get through so that they cannot lose focus despite the work involved in preparing for the local election.
“I had my convention at home, I was nominated by my son and seconded by my daughter but it was contested by my wife,” Lynch quipped at the AGM. He made a slip up of saying this selection convention was for the General Election but quickly advised colleagues that it was indeed the local elections that he was referring to.
First elected to Clare County Council in 2014 when he was the fourth of eight candidates elected having amassed 1,218 first preference votes, the Kilrush man’s success coincided with Oliver Garry (FG) and Patrick Keane (FF) losing their seats. He ran as an Independent candidate after he was not selected for Fine Gael, he was previously a representative for the party on Kilrush Town Council from 2009 to 2014.
In 2019, a redrawn Kilrush electoral area saw Lynch’s first preference vote fall to 1,026 and he was the last of five candidates elected and he did so without reaching the quota of 1,530 narrowly seeing off Joseph Woulfe (IND). For this campaign, he was much slower in announcing his intention to run and this impacted on his canvass and can be attributed as a factor in the smaller vote.
Tom Prenderville’s (FF) defeat in the 2009 local election left Kilrush without a local representative on the County Council for five years until Lynch’s success.
Of the current councillors in the West Clare MD, Cllr Lynch is the only one with experience of contesting a General Election. He ran in the 2016 General Election, polling 1,494 first preferences and was eliminated on the third count. He had briefly considered running in the 2020 General Election following Michael Harty’s (IND) announcement that he would not be standing as Lynch stressed the need for West Clare to have a voice in the Dáil.
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have yet to announce dates of their selection conventions in the Kilrush electoral area. Cllr Lynch is joined by Cllr PJ Kelly (FF), Cllr Bill Chambers (FF), Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) and Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) in the Kilrush LEA.