Local Election 2019

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council: First ever Alliance councillors elected

Cheering SDLP's gains in the Armagh Banbridge Council area are the party's Upper Bann MLA with newly-elected duo Thomas Larkham and Declan McAlinden. Photo: Mal McCann
Gary McDonald Business Editor

The Alliance Party gained three councillors in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, their first ever in the area.

The election saw unionist parties lose five seats compared to 2014 while Sinn Féin gained an extra two seats.

THE curtain also came down on four decades in local government for veteran Ulster Unionist councillor Alderman Arnold Hatch (76).

First elected to the old Craigavon Council in 1978, where he served as mayor and deputy mayor, he was ousted from his seat in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough - and even before the inevitable was confirmed, he'd left the count centre early for a male voice choir engagement in Cork.

The retired businessman worked at local, regional, national and European level for many years on behalf of local authorities in the north, and on three occasions served as president of the NI Local Government Association (NILGA).

Hatch polled nearly 400 fewer votes than last time (570 against 955 in 2014), and despite the UUP garnering slightly more first preferences in the ward than five years ago (2,082 v 2,044), nearly two thirds of them went to Julie Flaherty, buoyed by her high-profile stint as the council's most recent mayor.

But her transfers were insufficient to bring her running partner across the line, and the UUP was left licking its wounds.

Council elections 2019: full results

Another sitting member to lose his seat on the council was Fergal Lennon. A former group leader for Sinn Féin, he nailed his colours to the Aontu mast this time and his personal first preferences plunged from 910 to just 230 and he was first candidate eliminated.

The DUP's decision to take less of a blunderbuss approach in this election by fielding fewer candidates didn't quite pay dividends.

It was confident of getting all 10 of its candidates home in the four DEAs being counted today, but in Craigavon its sitting councillor Robert Woolsey Smith was usurped by the SDLP, which returned two members in Thomas Larkham and Declan McAlinden.

A joyous Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said: "This is historic for us, but Thomas and Declan are two superb activists and it hasn't surprised us that we've made this gain."

Indeed the SDLP mopped up Hatch's seat courtesy of Eamon McNeill - and that would be the first time nationalists have taken two of the six seats on the predominantly Protestant Portadown ward, where Sinn Féin's Paul Duffy romped in on the first count.

But in Cusher the SDLP lost the one traditional nationalist seat to Sinn Féin, with Seamus Livingstone losing out to Bróna Haughey.


Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

41 seats

Change since 2014:

DUP 11 (-2), UUP 10 (-2), SF 10 (+2), SDLP 6 (-), All 3 (+3), Ind 1 (-), Ukip 0 (-1)

Turnout: 54 per cent


Armagh (6 seats, Quota 1,818)

Garath Keating (SF) 2,037

Sam Nicholson (UUP) 1,697

Jackie Donnelly (SF) 1,677

Freda Donnelly (DUP) 1,638

Thomas O'Hanlon (SDLP) 1,491

Darren McNally (SF) 1,413

Mealla Campbell (SDLP) 1,246

Martin Kelly, (Aontú) 822

Jackie Coade (All) 674

Pol Oh-Again (Ind) 28


Garath Keating (SF) 1st count
Jackie Donnelly (SF) 4th count
Sam Nicholson (UUP) 5th count
Thomas O'Hanlon (SDLP) 5th count
Darren McNally (SF) 5th count
Mealla Campbell (SDLP) 5th count


Banbridge (7 seats, Quota 1,518)

Glenn Barr (UUP) 1,764

Paul Greenfield (DUP) 1,563

Brian Pope (All) 1,425

Jill Macauley (UUP) 1,350

Seamus Doyle (SDLP) 1,309

Ian Burns (UUP) 1,273

Junior McCrum (DUP) 1,232

Kevin Savage (SF) 1,038

McAleenan, Vincent SF 676

Martin, William TUV 508


Glenn Barr (UUP) 1st count
Paul Greenfield (DUP) 1st count
Ian Burns (UUP) 3rd count
Kevin Savage (SF) 4th count
Jill Macauley (UUP) 6th count
Junior McCrum (DUP) 6th count
Brian Pope (All) 8th count


Craigavon (5 seats, Quota 1,613)

Margaret Tinsley (DUP) 1,416

Catherine Nelson (SF) 1,332

Thomas Larkham (SDLP) 1,244

Robert Woolsey Smith (DUP) 1,105

Kenneth Twyble (UUP) 1,037

Declan McAlinden (SDLP) 1,014

Kate Evans (UUP) 871

Michael Tallon (SF) 727

Sean Hagan (All) 699

Fergal Lennon (Aontú) 230


Catherine Nelson (SF) 4th count
Thomas Larkham SDLP) 5th count
Kenneth Twyble (UUP) 7th count
Margaret Tinsley (DUP) 7th count
Declan McAlinden SDLP) 7th count


Cusher (5 seats, Quota 1,910)

Gareth Wilson (DUP) 2,248

Paul Berry (Ind) 2,009

Bróna Haughey (SF) 1,519

Jim Speers (UUP) 1,633

Gordon Kennedy (UUP) 1,229

Quincey Dougan (DUP) 1,215

Seamus Livingstone (SDLP) 901

Gareth Hay (All) 462

Paul Bowbanks (Ind) 241


Gareth Wilson (DUP) 1st count
Paul Berry (Ind) 1st count
Bróna Haughey (SF) 4th count
Jim Speers (UUP) 5th count
Gordon Kennedy (UUP) 6th count


Lagan River (5 seats, Quota 1,481)

Mark Baxter (DUP) 1,876

Kyle Savage (UUP) 1,614

Paul Rankin (DUP) 1,444

Eóin Tennyson (All) 960

Olive Mercer (UUP) 871

Tim McClelland (DUP) 678

Samuel Morrison (TUV) 499

John O'Hare (SDLP) 369

Tony Gorrell (SF) 227

Sammy Ogle (Ind) 217

Jordan Stewart (Ukip) 129


Mark Baxter (UUP) 1st count
Kyle Savage (UUP) 1st count
Paul Rankin DUP) 2nd count
Eoin Tennyson (All) 8th count
Tim McClelland (DUP) 9th count


Lurgan (7 seats, Quota 1,506)

Keith Haughian (SF) 1,974

Louise McKinstry (UUP) 1,524

Stephen Moutray (DUP) 1,504

Peter Lavery (All) 1,321

Terry McWilliams (DUP) 1,282

Liam Mackle (SF) 1,190

Joe Nelson (SDLP) 1,046

Ciaran Tomas (SDLP) 926

Sorcha McGeown (SF) 823


Keith Haughian (SF) 1st count
Louise McKinstry (UUP) 1st count
Liam Mackle (SF) 3rd count
Joe Nelson (SDLP) 4th count
Peter Lavery (All) 5th count
Stephen Moutray (DUP) 6th count
Sorcha McGeown (SF) 6th count


Portadown (6 seats, Quota 1,604)

Darryn Causby (DUP) 2,077

Sydney Anderson (DUP) 1,696

Paul Duffy (SF) 1,675

Julie Flaherty (UUP) 1,512

Eamon McNeill (SDLP) 967

Lavelle McIlwrath (DUP) 866

Emma Hutchinson (All) 570

Darrin Foster (TUV) 547

Arnold Hatch (UUP) 570

Callum Ó’Dufaigh (SF) 392

David Jones (Ind) 266

David Jameson (UKIP) 149


Darryn Causby (DUP) 1st count
Sydney Anderson (DUP) 1st count
Paul Duffy (SF) 1st count
Julie Flaherty (UUP) 3rd count
Lavelle McIlwrath (DUP) 8th count
Eamon McNeill (SDLP) 8th count

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