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seanad elections

Timmy Dooley among three outgoing Fianna Fáil TDs to secure Seanad nominations

All three lost their Dáil seats during this month’s general election.

FiannaF Clockwise from left: Timmy Dooley; Margaret Murphy O'Mahony; Malcolm Byrne

OUTGOING FIANNA FÁIL TDs Malcolm Byrne, Timmy Dooley and Margaret Murphy O’Mahony have received nominations to the Seanad.

The trio lost their seats during this month’s general election, but are hoping to return to government via the country’s upper house in a few weeks’ time.

They could each do so as one of 43 senators who are elected from panels of candidates representing five different vocational interests.

Dooley, the party’s former communications spokesperson, is running for election on the Industrial and Commercial Panel after receiving a nomination from the Restaurants Association of Ireland today – the last day for an outside body to do so.

He was a long-serving front-bench spokesperson until last year’s Votegate controversy, and lost his Dáil seat in Clare.

Meanwhile, Byrne – who became the second-shortest serving TD ever after he lost his seat in Wexford – has been nominated to the Cultural and Educational Panel.

Murphy O’Mahony, who lost her seat in Cork South-West, has also been nominated to the Cultural and Educational Panel.

Nominees for the five panels are formed before the Seanad General Election from candidates who are deemed to have knowledge and practical experience of relevant interests and services.

The Cultural and Educational Panel deals with national language and culture, literature, art, education, law and medicine, and is made up of five elected senators.

The Agricultural Panel deals with agricultural and allied interests and fisheries, and is made up of 11 elected senators.

The Labour Panel deals with both organised and unorganised labour, and is also made up of 11 elected senators.

The Industrial and Commercial Panel deals with industry and commerce, including banking, finance, accountancy, engineering and architecture, and is made up of nine elected senators.

And the Administrative Panel deals with public administration and social services, including voluntary social activities, and is made up of seven elected senators.

Individuals can receive nominations from one of a number of bodies who are deemed to be representative of the interests and services of a relevant panel, and whose primary interests are not for profit-making purposes.

Candidates were required to be nominated by these bodies by noon today, and those put forward will now have their names on the ballot as part of the overall Seanad elections.

Nominees can also come from the Oireachtas, via any newly elected TDs or outgoing senators, who may nominate one candidate for any panel between them. Each TD or outgoing senator may join in one nomination only.

The deadline for Oireachtas nominations closes on 2 March. Ballot papers will be issued from 16 March to those eligible to vote for one of the five panels, which includes members of the incoming Dáil, the outgoing Seanad, and members of local authorities.

Voting for the 43 Seanad seats will close on 30 March, when counting will begin.

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