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'Votegate' TD Dooley fails in bid for Seanad seat

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Timmy Dooley. Picture: Collins

Timmy Dooley. Picture: Collins

Timmy Dooley. Picture: Collins

FORMER Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley - who was at the centre of the 'Votegate' controversy - has failed in his bid to be elected to the Seanad.

Mr Dooley, who lost his seat as a TD for Clare in the general election, was suspended from the Fianna Fáil frontbench last year for his involvement in irregular voting in the Dáil.

It came after the Irish Independent revealed that Mr Dooley’s vote was recorded six times despite his absence from the chamber.

Limerick TD Niall Collins later admitted he had pressed Mr Dooley’s voting button in the mistaken belief Mr Dooley was still present.

Both TDs later apologised and Dáil voting procedures are being overhauled.

Mr Dooley trailed party colleagues like outgoing Senators Catherine Ardagh, Aidan Davitt and Gerry Horkan after the first count for the Seanad's Industrial and Commericial Panel.

He was eliminated after the 21st count.

High profile but gaffe-prone Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone was eliminated from the count earlier in the afternoon.

Former Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion topped the poll in the first count but has still not gotten over the line.

Ms McCallion was the Sinn Féin MP for Foyle from 2017 to 2019 though she did not attend the House of Commons in line with her party's absentionist policies.

She lost her seat to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood last year.

Social Democrats candidate Nial Ó Tuathail - who is Galway-based came second in terms of first preference votes with Labour Kildare councillor Mark Wall in third.

Singer and Senator Frances Black is also in contention for a seat.

Longford Fine Gael councillor Michael Carrigy took the first place in the the nine-seat Industrial and Commercial Panel after the 22nd count.

Outgoing Fianna Fáil Senators Catherine Ardagh and Aidan Davitt have been elected as has their party colleague, Galway councillor Ollie Crowe.

The count continues in Dublin Castle this evening.

Online Editors