Ex-Green mayor wins Seanad seat


The Green Party’s former mayor of Galway Niall Ó Brolcháin was today elected to fill the Seanad vacancy caused by the election of Labour’s Alan Kelly to the European Parliament in June.

Mr Ó Brolcháin saw off challenges from Fine Gael’s Owen Bannigan and the Labour Party’s James Heffernan, taking 119 first preference votes, from a total valid poll of 205.

Mr Ó Brolcháin said he was honoured to have been elected to the Seanad and pledged to repay those that endorsed his candidacy with "hard work and commitment".

“I believe that I will bring a fresh perspective into Seanad Éireann and make valuable contributions to its work,” he said.

Green Party Leader John Gormley welcomed Mr Ó Brolcháin's victory, saying: "With his business and agricultural experience and commitment to community activism, Niall will make a very good addition to Seanad Éireann and I wish him every success in the years ahead of us.”

Meanwhile former Fianna Fáil senator Pascal Mooney and a son of former minister Michael Smith are among the candidates in the Seanad byelection caused by the death of senator Peter Callanan.

Nominations closed last week for the contest on January 19th to replace the late Fianna Fáil senator from Innishannon, Co Cork, who died in October.

TDs and senators are entitled to vote for the eight candidates who have been nominated for the vacancy on the Seanad’s agricultural panel.