User Menu

James Reilly expected among Taoiseach’s Seanad appointments

Former ministers Paudie Coffey and Jimmy Deenihan also thought to be named

Labour Senator Denis Landy has criticised the delay in appointing Senators and delaying the sitting of the Seanad. He said it was “disrespectful” to the public that the Seanad has not sat in over three months. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to announce his 11 appointments to the Seanad today.

Mr Kenny will appoint a number of failed general election candidates, including former minister for children James Reilly.

He is also expected to give positions to former Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin, Galway West TD John O’Mahony, former Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Frank Feighan and Cork North West TD Áine Collins.

Former minister for housing Paudie Coffey and former minister for the diaspora Jimmy Deenihan are also expected to be given the opportunity to become senators.

Former senator Jim D’Arcy and former TD Ray Butler are also in the running for positions.

It is understood Mr Kenny will not appoint councillors from Co Longford or Co Tipperary, two constituencies which failed to elect TDs in the last general election.

The Taoiseach is understood to have been reluctant to choose one councillor in the area over another.

Criticised

However, there is still strong speculation that former minister of state at the department of agriculture and Tipperary TD Tom Hayes will feature in the final 11.

Labour Senator Denis Landy criticised the delay in making the appointments and delaying the sitting of the Upper House.

Mr Landy said it was “disrespectful” to the general public that the Seanad has not sat in over three months.

“The Seanad cannot sit again until the Taoiseach has appointed his Seanad nominees. I appreciate the importance of the Taoiseach taking time to consider his Seanad nominees. However this prolonged delay is unacceptable.

“There are many pressing issues which I and my fellow Senators want to raise but we are being prevented from doing so.

“I implore the Taoiseach as a matter of urgency to appoint his nominees, so the Seanad can return and Senators can do the job they were elected to do.”

Fine Gael will not have a majority in the Upper House. They have 13 elected Senators while Fianna Fáil has 14.

Mr Kenny is under pressure to appoint a number of his own party members. However, he is likely to select up to three “outsiders” with various expertise with some speculation he may appoint a spokesperson for the arts.

The establishment of committees cannot be made until the Seanad sits. Up to 20 are expected to be formed.