Wednesday 17 January 2018

Candidates now look to Kenny for Seanad slot

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny was last night braced for intense lobbying by failed Seanad candidates bidding to be one of his 11 special nominees.

With the last of the 49 university and vocational panel seats still being filled last night, attention will today turn to who will make the list of the Taoiseach's appointees.

Mr Kenny will come under pressure to appoint Fine Gael councillors and general election candidates who failed to win seats in the Seanad elections.

But he will also have to deal with lobbying from voluntary groups, which want high-profile campaigners to be appointed to what may be the last Seanad.

Fianna Fail was set to take 14 or 15 Seanad seats last night after Senator Mary White and former ministerial adviser Averil Power boosted the party's female parliamentary party numbers from zero to two.

Closely following the veteran senator was Ms Power, who previously ran in the local elections and general election but failed to take a seat.

Senator Marc McSharry completed a hat-trick for Fianna Fail on the industrial and commercial panel.

Despite falling from 28 seats to 14 or 15, the Fianna Fail result is better than what some insiders had been predicting.

And Mr Martin will be able to claim modest success in getting at least five of his preferred candidates appointed, amid a massive campaign by the so-called 'old guard', whom he had been trying to replace.

Fianna Fail's former coalition partners in the Green Party have now been left with no senators, after outgoing senator Dan Boyle received just 19 votes and was eliminated after the 11th count. Other newcomers to the Seanad also include cancer specialist John Crown, who was elected on the 24th count on the National University of Ireland (NUI) panel.

He joins Independent senators Ronan Mullen and Fergal Quinn as the elected representatives from the NUI panel.

And Sinn Fein's Kathryn Reilly (22) last night became the youngest member of the Oireachtas after winning a seat on the Industrial and Commercial Panel.

Her win brought Sinn Fein's Seanad seat total to three.

Ms Reilly, who is an economics advisor in the party, ran in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency but narrowly missed out on a Dail seat.


But the counting for the Trinity College panel continued to be painfully slow yesterday with a recount ordered in the early stages of the day.

Presidential hopeful David Norris topped the poll with a commanding lead over Independent Senator Ivana Bacik, who failed to win a seat for the Labour Party in the general election. She was deemed elected yesterday evening.

Irish Independent

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