Former Sinn Fein Paul Hogan has been co-opted onto Westmeath County Council.
Former Sinn Fein and Independent cllr Paul Hogan has been co-opted onto Westmeath County Council.
He defeated Kevin 'Boxer' Moran in a vote of sitting representatives this afternoon.
Mr. Moran had been nominated, by his son Jamie who resigned his seat on the local authority earlier this month.
Paul Hogan received the support of 12 councillors during the vote, in what could be deemed a shock to those outside of the county.
Nine Fianna Fail members put their weight behind Mr. Hogan along with crucial support from both green party representatives and Fine Gael's Andrew Duncan.
The former OPW minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran received six votes from Independent Councillor Mick Dollard, both Labour representatives and three Fine Gael councillors.
Fine Gael's Emily Wallace was the sole abstention.
A heated debate took place beforehand - during which the process was described as a power grab for an independent seat by Labour's Denis Leonard.
He went on, along with Cllr Dollard, to question the overall process and motives of Fianna Fail in seeking a vote on the issue rather than a straightforward co-option, as is the norm with a casual vacancy.
Newly co-opted Cllr Hogan thanked members for their support and stated he looks forward to getting down to business.