Nominations for Seanad vocational panels close

Sinn Féin to seek reform of the Upper House which will be elected next month

Sinn Féin has said it will press for the introduction of universal voting rights in the new Seanad, which will be elected next month.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said yesterday it would form part of the party’s proposals to reform the Upper House.

He said the party would use the Seanad as a platform to put forward its policies, including protecting the most vulnerable citizens.

Nominations closed yesterday for the 43-member vocational panels, paving the way for the campaign to begin in earnest. The electorate is made up of 949 county councillors, the 158 members of the new Dáil, and members of the outgoing Seanad.



Sinn Féin’s seven candidates are Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, who unexpectedly lost his Dáil seat in


in the general election, industrial and commercial panel; outgoing Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Galway; Rose Conway-Walsh,


, agricultural panel; Fintan Warfield, Dublin, cultural and educational panel;

Niall O Donnghaile



, administrative panel;

Maire Devine

, Dublin; and

Paul Garvan



, labour panel.

The Labour Party candidates include three ministers of state who lost their seats: Ged Nash, Louth, labour panel; Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Dublin Bay North, industrial and commercial panel; Kevin Humphreys, Dublin Bay South, administrative panel.

Outgoing Fine Gael Seanad Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke (Mayo) is seeking re-election on the agricultural panel, as are Seanad leader Maurice Cummins, labour panel; Paul Coghlan, industrial and commercial panel; Pat O'Neill, agricultural panel; and Paudie Coffey, who lost his seat in Waterford, administrative panel.

Defeated Fine Gael TD in Cork South-Central Jerry Buttimer and councillor Neale Richmond, from Ballinteer in Dublin Rathdown, are among the candidates on the labour panel. Noel Coonan, who lost out in Tipperary, is running on the agricultural panel.

The Fianna Fáil candidates include long-serving Senators Paschal Mooney, agricultural panel, and Terry Leyden, a former minister of state, on the labour panel, which also includes party colleague Ned O'Sullivan.

Cork East Fianna Fáil councillor Frank O'Flynn, from Glanworth, is running on the agricultural panel, while councillor Kate Feeney, Dún Laoghaire, is running on the labour panel.

Independent Gerard Craughwell is seeking re-election to the labour panel.

Retired District judge Seán Mac Bride, from Donegal, is a candidate on the cultural and educational panel.

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times