THE Collin DEA saw an incredible clean sweep for Sinn Féin as they added a fifth councillor to their team in the area after a very successful election count that was the last to declare in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Sinn Féin claimed five out of the six seats in the area as all of their candidates emerged victorious in strengthening the party’s popularity in the Collin area and gaining a seat off the SDLP. All the while Michael Collins retained his seat after a long battle with SDLP candidate Gerard McDonald.
With a DEA quota of 1,996 it was Councillor Joe Duffy who would top the poll in Collin after being elected with a first preference vote count of 2,559. Duffy was elected alongside fellow Sinn Féin councillor Caoimhín McCann after his 2,350-vote count saw him prevail as the second Sinn Féin candidate elected in the opening round of the count at City Hall.
Councillor Duffy was grateful to the people of Collin for electing him and promised to be committed to working hard for the area.
“I am honoured to have been elected to Belfast City Council by the people of the Colin. I want to thank every person who gave me their vote. Sinn Féin went into this campaign with a commitment to work for all, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to represent the people of this area and deliver first-class council services," he said.
No better man to walk out with than uncle @CllrJoeDuffy https://t.co/5WrVBoLkfG— Cllr. Caoimhín McCann 🇮🇪 (@CaoimhinOSF) May 20, 2023
“This election was an opportunity to send a signal that it is time to get the Assembly up and running.”
The second round saw Sinn Féin make it a hat-trick as they clinched their third seat in the area after the surplus vote count pushed Councillor Matt Garrett over the line as his first preference vote count was just 72 votes shorts of election.
The Collin councillor was delighted at his re-election and was thankful for everyone who voted him into the council once again.
The Collin DEA count had a domino effect as once Cllr Garret was elected, Séanna Walsh soon followed in the third round. Sinn Féin looked to have the election sewn up early on as newcomer Clíodhna Nic Bhranair was the only Sinn Féin candidate who remained to be elected in Collin.
The party looked set to make history and would do so in the eighth round when Clíodhna Nic Bhranair broke the area quota and would make it five-out-of-five for the republican party.
The final spot was a long-drawn-out battle between People Before Profit’s Michael Collins – who was hopeful of retaining his seat – and SDLP’s Gerard McDonald who was the replacement candidate for Councillor Brian Heading.
Delighted to have been re-elected in Colin last night! Massive thank you to everyone who voted for a socialist voice.— Michael Collins (@CllrMickCollins) May 21, 2023
Even bigger thanks to all of our activists in Colin and the wider People Before Profit team for all of their hard work and effort.
It would be Collins who pipped the SDLP man in the end after 12 rounds of counting at City Hall with 1,730.09 to McDonald’s 1,520.65.
Despite failing to meet the area quota Collins was thankful to all who participated in the vote and said he is hopeful his party can bounce back stronger after losses across the board in the Belfast City Council.
“I am delighted to have been re-elected in Collin last night," he said. "Massive thank you to everyone who voted for a socialist voice. Even bigger thanks to all of our activists in Collin and the wider People Before Profit team for all of their hard work and effort.
“I look forward to building on our work in Collin and being a voice for working class people in Council. This was a tough election for the small parties but People Before Profit has proven in the past that we come back better and stronger.”