Talk among the chattering classes that Feighan was in danger of losing his seat proved wholly without foundation and the Boyle man was in fact the first Fine Gael TD to be elected.
A massive vote in Leitrim, where he outpolled both natives, Gerry Kilrane of Fianna Fáil and Martin Kenny of Sinn Féin, ensured his success. Frank Feighan has worked hard in south Leitrim in recent years, having an office in Ballinamore and this hard work paid off handsomely when the votes came tumbling out of the boxes in the Hyde Centre on Saturday.
Much of the talk that Feighan was in danger of losing his seat centred around the fact that he was not allowed to canvass in part of one of the four towns in which he has an office, Castlerea, as this was in Denis Naughten’s area as carved up by Fine Gael headquarters. In the five Castlerea town boxes, Feighan received 281 votes to Naughten’s 136, a respectable volume given that it is the home of Ming.
Boyle proved the real stronghold for Feighan, where he secured over 1100 first preference votes in the six Boyle boxes. Grange and Kingsland between them provided over 300 votes and he secured just under half of all the votes cast in Woodbrook.
Safely ensconced in the 31st Dáil, and well aligned with the incoming Taoiseach, Frank Feighan can look forward to eventful times ahead.