Wednesday 26 July 2017

Businessman who lost council election to run for the Seanad

Fine Gael's John McNulty
Fine Gael's John McNulty
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

Fine Gael is planning to appoint a losing local election candidate to the Seanad.

The party’s candidate in the Seanad by-election is expected to be John McNulty, a 37-year-old businessman from Donegal.

The vacancy arises as a result of the election of Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune to the European Parliament.

The seat will be held by Fine Gael as the Coalition has the required numbers of votes.

Surprisingly, the party will not be availing of the opportunity to promote a female candidate ahead of the next general election.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny came under fire over his failure to appoint any female junior ministers.

The party will also struggle to meet the gender quotas at the next general election, where 30pc of the candidates must be female.

The elevation of Mr McNulty will prompt speculation about the retirement of long-serving TD Dinny McGinley. The Donegal South-West TD was dropped as a junior minister in the reshuffle.

Mr McNulty ran for Donegal County Council but was well beaten. In the six seat Donegal electoral area, he came tenth and got just over 800 votes, which was well under half a quota.

The failed local election candidate lives in Kilcar and runs a Mace Store in Stranorlar.

During the local elections, he campaigned for the future development of KIllybegs as a ‘Recovery Hub’ for south Donegal.

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