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Taoiseach Micheál Martin announces his 11 Seanad nominees

The Seanad is due to meet at the Dublin Convention Centre on Monday morning.

Traveller activist Eileen Flynn is one of Martin's nominees.
Traveller activist Eileen Flynn is one of Martin's nominees.
Image: National Women's Council of Ireland

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has announced his 11 nominees  to be appointed to the Seanad. 

Martin was formally appointed Taoiseach na hÉireann by President Micheal D Higgins this afternoon. 

His nominees include politicians from the three government parties; Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and The Green Party. 

Regina Doherty, who was Minister for Social Protection in the last government will be the Leader of the Seanad. 

 The other nominees are:

  • Mary Fitzpatrick, a Fianna Fáil councillor the Cabra-Glasnevin constituency. She has run in four general elections and one European election, but failed to win a seat.
  • Lorraine Clifford Lee, a Fianna Fáil senator in the last Seanad. She lost out to Green Party candidate Joe O’Brien for a seat in the 2019 by-election in Dublin Fingal last November. At the start of the campaign she had been forced to apologise for a number of tweets from 2011 about Travellers. 
  • Erin McGreehan, a Fianna Fáil councillor in Louth, she was a first-time candidate when she won her seat on the council last year. 
  • Timmy Dooley, a Fianna Fáil TD for Clare from 2007 to 2020, he lost his seat in the general election in February and was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2020 Seanad election. Before that, he had been a long-standing front-bench spokesperson, but was one of the TDs involved in the Votegate controversy
  • Aisling Dolan,  first elected as an Independent councillor on Galway County Council in May 2019. She ran in the 2020 General Election for Fine Gael in Roscommon-Galway and is thought to be a good bet for a Dáil seat when Ireland next goes to the polls.
  • Emer Currie, a Fine Gael councillor who ran unsuccessfully in the February general election. She is also a former director for the country’s largest advertising and marketing agency. 
  • Mary Seery Kearney is a councillor on South Dublin County Council for Fine Gael and a practising barrister. In March, she was a last-minute candidate for the Seanad Labour panel because there was an insufficient number of contestants.
  • Vincent P Martin, a Green Party councillor in Kildare and also Catherine Martin’s brother. He missed out on a seat in the Dáil in February’s election. 
  • Róisín Garvey, a Green Party councillor in Clare. Her father Flan was a Fianna Fáil representative on the local authority from 1985 to 2009.
  • Eileen Flynn, a Traveller activist for more than a decade, she has campaigned on anti-racism issues, marriage equality, housing and abortion rights. She will be the first female Traveller in the Oireachtas. 

The Seanad is set to meet at the Dublin Convention Centre, a temporary Dáil chamber which allows for social distancing, on Monday. 

A number of TDs who lost their Dáil seats in February’s election secured Seanad seats in March, including former Fianna Fáil TDs Lisa Chambers and Malcolm Byrne. 

The former government Chief Whip, Fine Gael’s Sean Kyne, was also elected at the time along with former Fine Gael county councillor John McGahon.

Martin also today announced his Cabinet ministers from across the three parties in Government – six from Fianna Fáil, six from Fine Gael and three from the Green Party. 

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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