1920 Local Elections

Post Advertiser, May 15, 1985, Vol 1, No 1


With the Local Elections around the corner it is of interest to look at the results in Cashel in 1920. The War of Independence was in full sming and elections took place in January of that year. Polling Day was on Thursday, January 14 and 18 councillors were elected to the Cashel Urban Council. The town was divided into three electoral areas, East, North-West and South-West, and to each area were allotted six seats.


Nominations closed two weeks beforehand and the following were the candidates. In the East Ward were Patrick Casey, Clerk, of Friar Street for Labour, John Conroy, Labourer, of Main Street for Labour, William Darmody, Farmer, Clonmel Road, Independent Patrick Hogan, Draper's Assistant, Farmer, Friar St., for Sinn Fein, Patrick Looby, Farmer, Friar Street, for Sinn Fein, Richard Looby, Baker,. Canopy Street for Sinn Fein, Thomas Moloney, Labourer, Quirke's Lane for Labour and Christopher O'Connor, Cattle dealer, Bohermore, Independent.

In the North-West ward the following were candidates: John Cahill, Victualler, Bank Place, Independent, John Dunne, Shoemaker, Dublin Road for Labour, Richard Fahie, Tailor, Bank Place, Independent, Francis Kennedy, Baker, Main Street, for Labour, Paul Leamy, Baker, Lower Gate Street for Labour, Joseph Louth, Grocer's Assistant, Main Street for Sinn Fein, Seamus O'Neill, Teacher, Bank Place for Sinn Fein, Francis Phillips, Clerk, Ladyswell Street for Sinn Fein, Joseph Ryan, Corn Merchant, Main Street, Independent, Michael Ryan, Sadleir, Ladyswell Street, Independent. 

The candidates in the South-West Ward· were as followes: Martin Coleman, Labourer, The Green for Labour John Corcoran, Labourer, William Street, Independent, John Downey, Grocer, Main Street for Sinn Fein, Patick English, Farmer ,The Green, Independent. Matthew M. Hanly, farmer, Main Street, Independent, John Hickey, Labourer, Boherclough Street, Independent, John Murphy, Labourer, Boherclough Street for Labour, Stephen Ryan, Bootmaker, Lowergate Street, for Sinn Fein, John Taylor, Labourer, John Street for Labour, Patrick Thornton, Carpenter and Joiner, John Street, for Labour Lawrence J. Walsh, Compositor, Canopy Street for Labour. 

The Elections

Polling passed off without any untoward incident. In fact there was an absence of excitement and the visits to the different stations went on methodically. The polling stations for the East Area were in the Temperance hall, for the North-West Area in the City Hall and for the South West Area in the late Commercial Club premises. (An interesting contrast to the proliferation of polling stations since then for a smaller population!) 

The arrangements were admirably attended to by the Returning Officer, Mr. John O'Leary, the Town Clerk. Great praise was extended to him and his staff for their mastery of the varying complexities of the P.R. system and for arriving at the results in such a thorough fashion. The counting of the votes began on Friday morning and, with the exception of an hour's interval for lunch, contined until 5 o'clock, when the last return was declared. 


The following shows the results of the first count and the order in which they were elected under the Proportional Representation System, the first time for this system of election to be used in Local Elections.

Wast Area (Elected)

Christopher Connors (I) 63; Patrick Casey (L) 45; Patrick Looby (SF) 33; William Darmody (I) 15; John Conroy (L) 10; Patrick Hogan (SF), 22. Not Elected: Richard Looby (SF) 8, Thomas Moloney (L) 5.

North-West Area (Elected)

Francis Phillips (SF) 44; J. P. Ryan (I) 39; Seamus O'Neill (SF) 23; Michael Ryan (I) 18; Paul Leamy (L) 10; John Cahill (I), 25. Not elected: John Dunne (L)13; Richard Fahie (L), 16; Kennedy (L), 16; Joseph Louth (SF), 6. 

South-West Area (Elected) 

John Corcoran , (L), 40; Lawrence J. Walsh (I), 34; Matthew M. Hanly (I), 33; Patrick English (I), 32; John Murphy (L). 9; John Hickey (I), 9; Not elected: John Downey (SF), 5; Stephen Ryan (SF), 5; Patrick Thornton (L), 10; John Taylor (L), 5. 

At the conclusion of the polling a vote of thanks was proposed to. the returning officer and his staff 'for the capable and satisfactory way in which they had accomplished their difficult task. Mr. L. J. Walsh, U.C. proposed the vote of thanks and Mr. John Corcoran U.C. seconded. The Town Clerk briefly replied. 


A simple analysis of the results will reveal the over whelming success of the Independents and the poorshowing of Sinn Fein. The Independents got the most votes in the three electoral areas and overall polled 284 votes as against a .combined total of 309 for Labour and Sinn Fein. AIso nine Independents,or fifty percent of those elected, were Independents. The poll topper in the three areas was Independent, Christopher Connors. In i contrast Sinn Fein did poorly, getting only 146 first preference votes and getting only four candidates elected. In fact no Sinn Fein candidate was elected in the South-East Area, where the party got only ten first preference votes. 

Labour performed better, getting 163 first preferance votes and having five candidates elected. The party did poorest in the North-East Area, getting only one candidate elected and polling only 39 first preference votes.

When the nominations closed two weeks before polling day the following, who had been nominated, withdrew their names: Michael dargan, Michael Leamy and patrick Leamy for the North-West Area and William Looby for the East Area.