Friday 9 December 2016

Kenny yet to decide whether to fill Seanad posts

Published 02/03/2016 | 02:30

Katherine Zappone - Dublin South West. Pic Tom Burke
Katherine Zappone - Dublin South West. Pic Tom Burke
Hildegarde Naughton - Galway West. Pic Tom Burke

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has yet to decide whether to replace two of his Seanad nominees whose seats are now vacant following their election to the Dáil.

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Katherine Zappone (Dublin South West) and Hildegarde Naughton (Galway West) were both successful in Friday's poll and will therefore depart the Upper House.

The pair's election creates two vacancies in the Seanad ahead of its own elections next month.

Prior to the election, there were 11 senators who were Mr Kenny's nominees.

Four of these, including Ms Zappone, were appointed following a recommendation by the Labour Party leader.

There is precedent for senators to be appointed by the Taoiseach for a short period if vacancies arise.

But with just weeks until the new Seanad is formed, Mr Kenny may decide to leave the posts vacant.

Meanwhile, a number of TDs who lose their seats in the General Election are being tipped for a run for the Seanad. These include former junior Agriculture minster Tom Hayes, former Housing minister Paudie Coffey, and ex-Cork TD Jerry Buttimer.

Mr Buttimer last night confirmed his interest in running for the Seanad.

Other Fine Gael members tipped to run include councillor William Lavelle, who is currently an adviser to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, and Thomasina Connell from Laois.

Irish Independent

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