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THE COMEBACK KIDS - the TDs from Bertie Ahern's last government who are back at the top table

Quite a few TDs that lost out during the 2011 election purge have managed to regain their seats.

photojoiner Source: Rollingnews.ie/Wikimedia Commons

IT’S BEEN A seismic week for Irish politics, but at the same time that Fine Gael’s support has dropped in Dáil Éireann and Labour’s has nose-dived, a number of familiar faces have re-emerged.

Six TDs who served in Bertie Ahern’s last government after the 2007 election have been re-elected to the 32nd Dáil. Who would have thought that would happen five years ago?

Here’s the list of comeback kids in full:

27/2/2016. General Election 2016 - Counting of Vot Seán Haughey celebrates winning his seat at the RDS Source: RollingNews.ie

Sean Haughey

Haughey is the son of Charles Haughey, one of the most controversial Fianna Fáil politicians of them all, and grandson of Seán Lemass, so he’s essentially royalty among the Fianna Fáil old guard, but that hasn’t stopped him regaining the seat in Dublin Bay North that he lost in 2011.

Some months ago in a High Table interview with TheJournal.ie Haughey said that “politics is a bug you can’t kill, but hopefully I’ll kill it eventually”.

His addition to the ticket last September saw leader Micheál Martin sharply criticised from within his own party, but the decision seems to have been the correct one given his re-election.

Haughey served as a TD between 1992 and 2011 (having been a Senator before that), and was a minister of state for the last four of those years. His smooth re-election in Dublin Bay North saw him make light work of the 20-candidate strong roster in the so-called ‘constituency of death’.

eamon Eamon Ryan Source: Rollingnews.ie

Eamon Ryan

This election has been something of a triumph for the Greens after the party was cast into the wilderness in 2011, with every single one of their TDs losing their seats at that time following their role in government during the economic crash.

What Ryan as leader has achieved is certainly impressive – the Greens have earned almost 4% of the vote nationally and guaranteed themselves state funding once more. He himself has emerged victorious after a particularly vicious dogfight in Dublin Bay South at the expense of household names like Lucinda Creighton and Labour minister Kevin Humphreys.

Ryan himself was a TD from 2002 until losing out in 2011, serving as a government junior minister in his second stint. Taking over from the carnage of John Gormley’s leadership, his has proven to be a steady hand at the tiller.

16/9/2015 Thomas Byrne Dail Scenes Thomas Byrne Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Thomas Byrne

The Meath senator served as a TD between 2007 and 2011 before losing his seat last time out. His short stint with the party seems to have done him no harm, and his strong performance in the Seanad (where he served as spokesperson for his party on public expenditure and reform) in the interim set him up well for a return to the Dáil this time around.

Byrne previously lost out to Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee at the Meath East by-election of March 2013. He has also lost out for European seats in both 2009 and 2014.

His election this time around was well-expected. Byrne topped the poll in the Meath East constituency, being elected on the first count.

john curran John Curran at the RDS Source: Rollingnews.ie

John Curran

The newly-elected TD for Dublin mid-west formerly served in the same constituency in the Dáil between 2002 and 2011. He also served as chief whip for the last Fianna Fáil government between 2010 and 2011.

Curran had a comfortable enough passage back to the Dáil last weekend with little or no fuss – he finished up with beating the quota after the final count with Labour’s Joanna Tuffy and Fine Gael’s Derek Keating coming a cropper in the same constituency.

His smooth election was something of a surprise – Dublin Mid West wasn’t one that Fianna Fáil would have targeted especially, which gives an indication of just how well Micheál Martin’s troops have performed in this election.

12/8/2015 Fianna Fail House Repossessions Issues Darragh O'Brien Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

Darragh O’Brien

The newly-elected Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Fingal (he was the first candidate to be returned on the first count) was formerly a deputy in Bertie Ahern’s last government, taking office in 2007.

O’Brien subsequently lost his seat in the carnage of February 2011. Like Byrne, he had only served one term in Leinster House and seems to have reaped the benefits of that fact in being returned with ease this time round.

He has been a senator since April 2011 after being nominated by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen. He’s currently Before entering politics, the 41-year-old worked in financial services for 15 years.

eamon Eamon Scanlon Source: RTESligoLeitrim/Twitter

Eamon Scanlon

61-year-old Scanlon served as Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim between 2007 and the savaging his party took at the hands of the electorate in the 2011 vote.

That had been the Sligo native’s first stab at Dáil Éireann having previously served in the Seanad between 2002 and 2007. After losing his seat five years ago Scanlon re-emerged as a Sligo county councillor in the 2014 local elections.

His re-election at the final, 15th, count in Sligo-Leitrim last weekend is something of a triumph for his party – in eliminating Fine Gael’s Gerry Reynolds when his cause had seemed to be lost, Scanlon has ensured two seats for Fianna Fáil in the constituency, alongside senator Marc MacSharry who topped the poll (and who himself is the son of party royalty Ray MacSharry).

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