Barrister Ade Oluborode announces bid for Trinity seat in Seanad byelection

Independent candidate for vacant seat describes herself as a ‘voice for inclusion’

Barrister Ade Oluborode has announced her intention to run as an Independent candidate in the upcoming Seanad byelection for the vacant Trinity College Dublin (TCD) seat.

The vacancy arose after long-serving TCD senator Ivana Bacik won the Dublin Bay South Dáil byelection as a Labour Party candidate in July.

Ms Oluborode is a practising barrister-at-law and a committee member of Comhshaol, the climate bar association.

Prior to her career in law, she worked in academia, medical and biotechnological research, real estate, financial services and the public sector.


Ms Oluborode, who is originally from Nigeria and has lived in Ireland for almost two decades, has described herself as a "voice for inclusion".

If elected, she said education and the funding of third-level will be a key priority.

Her campaign priorities include promoting TCD, securing increased funding for the university, and enabling it to play a greater role in educating world leaders.

“I would love to see Trinity College become so financially robust and sufficiently agile to respond quickly and effectively to emerging international challenges. To this end I am fully committed to advocating for the Government to commit increased and long-term exchequer funding for TCD,” she said.

Another key area of focus will be to advance equality, diversity and inclusion, including the rights of the elderly, people with disabilities, families, women and children, and advocating for greater integration of new communities, including political representation, she added.

Expected cost

The byelection is expected to be held in the spring of this year, and the cost is expected to exceed €500,000.

Among those who have already declared their candidacy are media lecturer and former Army officer Dr Tom Clonan; climate academic and former Green Party councillor Sadhbh O'Neill, and former rugby international Hugo MacNeill.

All will be running as Independent candidates, although Mr MacNeill is being endorsed by Fine Gael. His wife is the Fine Gael Dún Laoghaire TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill.

Ursula Quill, a PhD student, is also running as an Independent. She is a former assistant to Ms Bacik and is being supported by the Labour Party.

Another PhD student at Trinity, Ryan Alberto Ó Giobúin, has also declared as a candidate.

Social Democrats councillor Carly Bailey and Gisèle Scanlon, president of TCD's Graduate Students' Union, are also among those who have expressed their intention to run.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times