Aware that he was probably not going to take the seat in the constituency by-election, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke (FF) conceded defeat at around 4pm today.
However the election hopeful who is likely to be elected to Athlone Co Council later tonight said that his by-election campaign had gone well and the results not only endorsed him as an able elected representative, but also the Fianna Fáil party as a whole. “The party has shown that I am a strong campaigner and that it is making ground,” he added. “I am very pleased with the results and I think it is a clear marker for the future.”
O’Rourke also pointed to the level of interest there was in how the Labour and Sinn Féin votes would transfer in the by-election. “The Athlone vote is so split,” he added. “So it will be fascinating to see how it all pans out. There was always a risk that I would fall between two stools, but it has worked out well. While I’m not thinking beyond today right now, certainly the next general election will be discussed, but there are so many dynamics going on in these elections that the ground is shifting and it looks like Labour is imploding, so I’m not going to call it just yet.”