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Dublin: 20 °C Sunday 25 August, 2019
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Another by-election on the way as Senator Jimmy Harte resigns

The Donegal senator sustained serious head injuries in an accidental fall nearly two years ago.

Jimmy Harte
Jimmy Harte
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 5.20pm

LABOUR SENATOR JIMMY Harte has formally resigned his Seanad seat nearly two years after sustaining a serious head injury after a fall in Dublin.

The Seanad was informed during the Order of Business this afternoon that the Donegal-based senator had formally resigned from the upper house.

Labour’s Seanad leader Ivana Bacik paid tribute to the Letterkenny native, saying he was “well known and well-loved by all of us”.

Harte was found unconscious with serious head injuries after an accidental fall on a Dublin street in 2013. He was found in Newmarket Square at about 4am on 16 November 2013, having earlier attended the Ireland versus Latvia football match at the Aviva Stadium.

The father-of-four was taken to St James’s Hospital but later transferred to Beaumont. Labour has previously said that Harte has been “making good progress in his recovery.

Harte was a hugely popular figure around Leinster House and politicians from all sides of the house offered their support and sympathies after the incident.

He joined Labour in 2010 and contested the 2011 general election in Donegal North East. He failed to win a seat, coming fourth in the three-seat constituency. Harte was subsequently elected to the Seanad Industrial and Commercial Panel in April of that year.

The resignation triggers another by-election of Oireachtas members for the vacant seat - nearly a year after Fine Gael’s John McNulty debacle. A motion will be moved in the Seanad tomorrow triggering the by-election process, which takes at least six weeks.

Speaking in the house today, Fine Gael’s Seanad leader Maurice Cummins paid tribute to Harte, saying he wished him and his family well.

Fianna Fáil Seanad leader Darragh O’Brien wished Harte “all health and happiness” in his retirement, describing him as an “absolute gentlemen” who would be missed.

Read: Labour Senator Jimmy Harte found with serious head injuries in Dublin

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Hugh O'Connell

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