Ballot paper lists McNulty as member of the Imma board

Jan O’Sullivan will vote for McNulty, says he has necessary qualities to be a good Senator

 

The ballot paper for the election to fill a vacancy on the Seanad’s Cultural and Educational Panel lists John McNulty as a board member of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, even though he stepped down last week.

The ballot papers were finalised on Monday last and issued on Friday.

Mr McNulty stepped down from the board last Thursday, saying Imma’s rules precluded him from being a board member and contesting an election at the same time.

He was appointed to the board shortly before he was announced as a Seanad byelection candidate.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said today there was no provision in legislation for amending ballot papers, when asked when the papers would be reissued to reflect Mr McNulty’s resignation from the board.

Separately Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan confirmed today she would be voting for Mr McNulty despite the controversy around his selection to run for the Seanad.

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Speaking in Dublin she said: “it hasn’t been a well-run process and I welcome the fact that the Taoiseach has acknowledged that”.

Nonetheless, she said Mr McNulty “does appear to be somebody who has the necessary qualities to be a good Senator”.

Earlier Labour TD Ciara Conway made it clear she was uncomfortable with the circumstances in Mr McNulty was appointed to Imma.

Ms Conway, who represents Waterford, becomes the latest deputy to speak out about the controversy, despite the Labour leadership making it clear the party does not want to get involved in the controversy.

“It’s not sitting comfortably. It’s not the way that we should be doing politics,” she told The Irish Times this morning.

A secret ballot of those eligible to vote will be held on October 10th. Ms Conway’s Labour colleagues Dominic Hannigan and Michael McNamara have raised the prospect of not supporting the Fine Gael candidate.

Fine Gael TDs John Deasy and Sean Conlon have also criticised the role of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys in the controversy.

Another candidate in the byelection, former Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) president Gerard Craughwell, is continuing his bid to have Mr McNulty’s name removed from the ballot paper.

“I’m meeting lawyers this afternoon. I still believe the process is wrong. I still believe the qualifications Mr McNulty presented on the day don’t qualify him,” he said.

Ballot papers for the byelection have been distributed to TDs and Senators.

The byelection was ordered to fill a vacancy arising in the Seanad following the election of Fine Gael’s Deirdre Clune to the European Parliament.