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Sinn Féin 'actively considering' running someone against Mairia Cahill

The party is considering its options.

Mairia Cahill
Mairia Cahill
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

SINN FÉIN HAS said it is “actively considering” whether to run a candidate against Labour’s nominee Mairia Cahill in the Seanad by-election.

Cahill will be the Labour candidate in the by-election in which only TDs and Senators can vote. A vacancy has arisen following the retirement of Jimmy Harte on health grounds.

A victim of abuse within the republican movement, Cahill has been heavily critical of Sinn Féin and its leader Gerry Adams over their handling of her ordeal.

The government’s majority in Leinster House means Cahill’s election to the Seanad’s Industrial and Commercial panel is considered a fait accompli as Fine Gael will join Labour in supporting Cahill’s candidacy.

However, Sinn Féin did put forward a candidate in last year’s Seanad by-election and the party said today that its ard comhairle or national executive will decide on whether to run a candidate this time around.

“Sinn Fein is actively considering nominating a candidate with the experience to advocate for the needs of business and workers, for a fair recovery and economic growth,” a spokesperson said.

Nominations for the by-election close on 15 October with ballot papers distributed to all members of the Oireachtas on 30 October before votes are counted and a result declared on 13 November.

Sinn Féin ran councillor Catherine Seeley in last year’s by-election with the Belfast-based teacher winning 22 votes.

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She finished behind the Fine Gael candidate John McNulty, who withdrew over a cronyism row, and the independent Gerard Craughwell, who was the eventual winner.

Fianna Fáil was not immediately able to confirm if it will be running a candidate in the by-election.

Read: Cahill says running for the Seanad for Labour is a message to her abuser and the IRA

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Hugh O'Connell

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