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Dr Martin McAleese, husband of current President Mary McAleese, has been nominated to Seanad Éireann by Enda Kenny this evening. Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Seanad Éireann

President's husband among Taoiseach's 11 Seanad nominees

Dr Martin McAleese will become a member of the new Seanad – as will Eamon Coughlan and Fiach MacConghail.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has included Dr Martin McAleese, the husband of current president Mary McAleese, among his list of 11 nominees to the 24th Seanad.

McAleese – a trained dentist, who has worked to try and bridge the Nationalist and Unionist divide alongside his wife – will occupy one of the 11 seats which can be personally filled by the Taoiseach’s nominees when the new Seanad convenes for the first time on Wednesday.

McAleese was also a patron of the recent Your Country, Your Call competition.

Among the other nominees announced this evening by the Taoiseach are former world champion athlete and three-time Olympian long-distance runner Eamonn Coghlan, who is appointed for his work as Director of the Crumlin Children’s Medical & Research Foundation and who appeared at campaign events for Fine Gael.

Another nominee is Fiach MacConghail, the director of the Abbey Theatre, who is currently the chairman of the board of the citizens’ engagement group We The Citizens.

Fine Gael party nominees include Jilian van Turnhout of the Children’s Rights Alliance, whose husband Michael is the chairman of the party organisation in the Dublin South constituency which returned three Fine Gael TDs in the five-seat constituency this year.

Other ‘party’ nominees are Louth councillor Jim Darcy and DCU academic Marie Louise O’Donnell.

Aideen Hayden, the current chairperson of housing rights agency Threshold and Galway-based general election candidate Lorraine Higgins are among the four nominees recommended by the Labour Party.

The other two Labour nominations are Louth teacher and defeated Seanad candidate Mary Moran, and Katherine Zappone, a member of the Human Rights Commission and a campaigner for same-sex partnership.

The final nominee is Mary Ann O’Brien, the co-founder of the Jack and Jill Foundation.

Seanad nominees: the list in full

  • Eamonn Coghlan; Director, Crumlin Children’s Medical & Research Foundation
  • Jim Darcy, Teacher & Member of Louth County Council
  • Aideen Hayden, Solicitor & Chairperson of Threshold
  • Lorraine Higgins, Barrister
  • Fiach MacConghail, Director of Abbey Theatre
  • Martin McAleese, Dental Surgeon
  • Mary Moran, Teacher
  • Mary Ann O’Brien, Businesswoman and co-founder of Jack & Jill Foundation
  • Marie Louise O’Donnell, Educationalist
  • Jillian van Turnhout, Childrens Rights Alliance
  • Katherine Zappone, Member of the Irish Human Rights Commission

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