A delighted Castlebar Fianna Fáil Councillor Al McDonnell following his success.

A bitter sweet election for FF in Mayo seven-seat nailbiter

Mayo Fianna Fáil Councillor Al McDonnell has been elected to Mayo County Council for a seventh term.

First co-opted in 1987, he can look forward to five more years on the authority to bring his period of service to a remarkable 42 years.

The Moorehall-based representative sealed his seat in the 13th count after securing 79 transfers from Sinn Féin candidate Donna Hyland to bring him over the tally of 1,877 to 1,918.

But the count also resulted in his party colleague, Martin McLoughlin, losing his seat after one term in office - making it a bitter sweet early morning for Fianna Fáil in the county town.

Significantly, Independent candidate Harry Barrett received 214 of Hyland's transfers to jettison him into sixth place and perfectly positioned to win a seat.

With the 14th count getting underway at around 7 a.m., it is expected the count will come to a close around 8 a.m. with the other seats being filled by Fine Gael duo Cyril Burke and Donna Sheridan.

That would leave a result of Fine Gael (3), Fianna Fáil (2), Independents (2).

The candidates elected earlier were Michael Kilcoyne Ind., Ger Deere FG and Blackie Gavin FF.