Fianna Fáil candidate Seamus Coyle has topped the poll in the Ballybay-Clones local election, followed by Fine Gael's Ciara McPhillips and and Sinn Féin's Cathy Bennett.

The counting of votes in the re-run of a local election in Co Monaghan began at 9am this morning after 58% of those eligible voted.

The election in the Ballybay-Clones electoral area was postponed last month because of the death of Fine Gael candidate Owen Bannigan.

Mr Coyle achieved 1,499 first preference votes and was declared elected to one of the six seats,  along with Fine Gael's Ciara McPhillips, who polled 1,348, and Sinn Féin's Cathy Bennett, who received 1,295 on the first count.

The total poll figure was 8,964,  with 73 spoiled votes, and a valid poll of 8,891. The quota was set at 1,271.

Other first preferences at the first count were the son of the late Fine Gael candidate Eugene Bannigan who got 1,153 votes.

Fine Gael's Hugh McElvaney got 1,075 votes, Sinn Féin's Pat Treanor 1,041 votes, Independent Paul McPhilips got 584, Fianna Fáil's Deirdre Kelly 499 votes, Michael Smyth, Fianna Fáil got 398 votes, Independent Joseph Duffy 27 votes and Green Party's  Raimonda Leonaviciene 2 votes.

The distribution of the 279 surpluses obtained by Mr Coyle, Ms McPhillips, and Ms Bennett, continues with the second count.

The indications are that Fine Gael is likely to claim three of the six seats with Sinn Féin getting two and Fianna Fáil taking one.

One of the Fine Gael candidates likely to claim a seat is 21-year-old  Eugene Bannigan.

The tally figures showed Fine Gael with 40% of the votes, Sinn Féin with 27%, Fianna Fáil with 26%, the Green Party  candidate and  two Independents only claimed around 7% of the vote in the area.

Tally figures have indicated the likelihood of Fine Gael claiming three of the six seats, with Sinn Féin getting two and Fianna Fáil taking one.