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Rugby star MacNeill ready for Seanad run

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Whole new ball game: Hugo MacNeill has political goals. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Whole new ball game: Hugo MacNeill has political goals. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Whole new ball game: Hugo MacNeill has political goals. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Former rugby international Hugo MacNeill has stepped down from his long-time role as head of Goldman Sachs Investment Bank in Ireland ahead of a run for the Seanad on the Trinity panel.

Despite this week's election of his wife, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, as a Fine Gael TD, the well-known businessman says he is running as an Independent.

The former Ireland rugby international and British and Irish Lion is an Independent candidate for the Dublin University constituency in next month's Seanad election.

If successful, the MacNeills would be the second husband and wife team in the new Oireachtas, alongside Green Party TDs Catherine Martin and Francis Duffy.

In addition, Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns and her boyfriend, Christopher O'Sullivan of Fianna Fáil, were both elected in Cork South-West.

Mr MacNeill is well known in business circles as the long-time face of Goldman Sachs in Ireland, where the investment bank advises corporate clients and the State on financing, deal making and during the crash, on the banking crisis. Much of that work is now done from London.

In his rugby career he was among the Irish players who refused to travel to South Africa for an international rugby tour in protest at the apartheid regime.

He is also heavily involved in North/south co-operation and the British Irish Association, and with the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities (TCPID). He is already boasting sporting endorsements from ex-rugby internationals Jamie Heaslip and Trevor Ringland.

Irish Independent