Sinn Féin gets first openly gay member elected to Oireachtas
Published 26/04/2016 | 02:30
Sinn Féin has secured the election of its first openly gay member of the Oireachtas.
Former Mayor of South Dublin Fintan Warfield (24) has become the first candidate confirmed in the 25th Seanad. He was elected on the Educational and Cultural panel after the first count.
Mr Warfield said he is particularly proud to have been elected to the Upper House during the Centenary year.
"I am immensely proud to have been elected to the Seanad and to have received such a large vote.
"To have been elected on the centenary of the Rising is a massive honour and privilege and I look forward to working with the rest of my colleagues in Leinster House to fight for the type of change promised in the Proclamation," he said.
"As a young person involved in the Arts and an LGBT activist, I will be a progressive voice on these issues in the Seanad," Mr Warfield said.
The Seanad count will take place over three to four days and will see some 49 senators being elected.
A further 11 will be chosen by the Taoiseach.
Six senators are elected by graduates of Trinity College and the National Universities of Ireland (NUI), while the remaining 43 are chosen by TDs and councillors via five separate vocational panels.
The Cultural and Educational panel, which produces five seats, was the first contest held yesterday. As the counting continued last night, Independent candidate Joe Conway was also expected to be elected.
Mr Conway has the backing of Waterford TD John Halligan.
Fine Gael's Kieran O'Donnell, who lost his seat in the election, is also poised to be elected. Other candidates in contention for a seat are Fianna Fáil's Lorraine Clifford-Lee, her party colleague Keith Swanick, Fine Gael's Gabriel McFadden and Fine Gael senator Jim D'Arcy.