Election 2020: Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (Sinn Féin)
Donegal – Elected on first count
Sinn Féin FD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (46) was a victim in 2016 of Sinn Féin’s decision to run three candidates, a strategy that could have worked well this time around.
He was narrowly defeated for the last seat but subsequently got elected to the Seanad’s Industrial and Commercial Panel where he began his comeback campaign.
The first TD from a Traveller background to be elected, he has spoken on the issue and condemned as ignorant remarks by presidential and subsequently Dáil candidate Peter Casey who described Travellers as camping on somebody else’s land.
But he said there needed to be a greater understanding between Travellers and the settled community.
First elected to the Dáil in 2011 on his third attempt, he previously served on Buncrana Town Council and on Donegal County Council.
An early school leaver at age 14, he worked in painting and decorating before returning to education as a mature student. He got involved in community development studies and distance learning and has a diploma in social studies.
He lives in Buncrana with his partner and their son.