Friday 28 October 2016

Who is Lynne Ruane? One of the Seanad's new faces

Jane O'Faherty

Published 28/04/2016 | 07:05

Lynn Ruane (31), president of Trinity College Dublin's student union
Lynn Ruane (31), president of Trinity College Dublin's student union

President of Trinity College Students’ Union, Lynn Ruane, has been elected to the university’s third Seanad seat.

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Ruane was declared victorious on the 15th count, beating incumbent senator Sean Barrett by 116 votes. 

She joins returning senators Ivana Bacik and David Norris, who were also elected to the University of Dublin constituency.

Speaking after the win, Senator Ruane (31) thanked the graduates who voted for her, as well as the people of her native Tallaght.

Ms Ruane left school shortly after completing her Junior Cert, during which time she was pregnant with her first daughter, Jordanne.

By the time she was 21, Ms Ruane had a second daughter, Jaelynne, and a career as a drugs addiction worker in her community.

She returned to education through the Trinity Access Programme at the age of 26, and went on to be elected Student Union President.

Throughout her tenure as TCD SU President, she has been vocal in her support for the Students Against Fees movement and more childcare funding for young parents pursuing third-level education.

Ms Ruane was one of the first Seanad candidates backed by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). In March, the union said it fully supported Ms Ruane’s bid, alongside former USI President Laura Harmon.

All six university seats in the Seanad have been filled following Ms Ruane’s election.

Independent Ronan Mullen reclaimed his NUI seat, while former Tanaiste Michael McDowell was also elected to the same panel.

Alice Mary Higgins, the daughter of President Michael D Higgins, was elected to the third and final NUI seat.

Sinn Fein’s Padraig McLochlainn was elected to the Industrial and Commercial Panel, while Labour’s Ged Nash was elected to the Labour Panel.

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