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Michael McDowell, David Norris and Rónán Mullen return to Seanad as count continues

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Senator Ronan Mullen

Senator Ronan Mullen

Senator Ronan Mullen

OUTGOING Independent senators David Norris, Michael McDowell and Rónán Mullen are returning to the Seanad after being elected by university voters.

Mr Mullen, well known for his pro-life views, was elected on the first count with a vote of 9,642.

Former Tánaiste and Justice Minister Mr McDowell also kept his seat and was elected on the tenth count.

Separately Trinity College voters returned gay rights activist and former presidential candidate David Norris to the seat he has held since 1987.

Labour’s Ivana Bacik and Independent candidate Lynn Ruane also hung onto their Seanad seats.

The race for the third seat was a battle between outgoing Independent Senator Mary Alice Higgins -the daughter of President Michael D Higgins - and former Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger.

Ms Higgins was elected.

Ms Higgins got 4,944 first preference votes while Ms Coppinger got 3,615.

Another Independent, Laura Harmon, trails them with 2,187 votes.

The electorate is made up of graduates from UCD, UCC, NUIG and NUI Maynooth.

Counting continues for this constituency and in the three-seat University of Dublin constituency where the voters are Trinity graduates continues this afternoon.

Former TDs Shane Cassells and Pat Casey as well as Senator Ned O'Sullivan all took seats in the Labour Panel.

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell was also re-elected as was Sinn Féin’s Paul Gavan.

The Green Party’s Pauline O’Reilly and Labours Marie Sherlock we’re also elected as counting finished in the panel.

Elsewhere outgoing Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer topped the poll in the Seanad's Labour Panel and is re-elected.

Others vying for seats in the panel include former Fianna Fáil TDs Shane Cassells and Pat Casey who lost their Dáil seats in February's general election.

Fine Gael Waterford councillor John Cummins was elected to the Labour Panel on the second count.

Sinn Féin Senator Máire Devine lost her seat on the fifth count.

Online Editors