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FG pulls ahead as Seanad election counts near completion

Four of the five vocational panels are now nearly complete, while the two University constituencies are also nearly wrapped up.

Re-elected Fianna Fáil senator Jim Walsh examines progress at the Seanad election count in Leinster House.
Re-elected Fianna Fáil senator Jim Walsh examines progress at the Seanad election count in Leinster House.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

FINE GAEL’S strong performance in the 2011 Seanad elections continued tonight as the party elected five members in the 11-seat Labour panel – putting daylight between itself and Fianna Fáil as it moves clearly towards being the biggest party in the upper house.

As counting in the Industrial and Commerical panel continued tonight, it was clear that Fine Gael would secure four of the panel’s nine seats, putting it on an overall total of 15, compared to Fianna Fáil’s 12.

The exact identities of the four Fine Gael candidates remained unclear, with a clutch of party candidates neck-and-neck, while the Fianna Fáil trio of Averil Power, Mary White and Marc Mac Sharry were also elected.

The former and latter candidates were featured on Micheál Martin’s list of preferred candidates; so far, five of the nine candidates enjoying his backing have made it home.

Sinn Féin’s Kathryn Reilly becomes the youngest ever candidate to be elected to the Upper House – aged just 22 – while Labour’s Jimmy Harte was the first elected to the panel, bringing the party’s ranks to eight so far.

The only Green Party candidate of the panel elections, outgoing senator Dan Boyle, failed in his bid to win re-election – while Níall O Brollcháin also failed in his bid to win a seat in the NUI university panel.

That panel returned the incumbent pairing of Rónán Mullen and Feargal Quinn as well as consultant oncologist Prof John Crown. In the Trinity College Dublin seat, the outgoing senators David Norris and Ivana Bacik won election, while independent economist Seán Barrett was set to take the final seat.

Counting will continue tomorrow in the final panel, the seven-seater Administrative Panel, after which only the eleven Taoiseach’s nominees will remain unappointed.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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