Seanad election: Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley and Fine Gael’s Catherine Noone eliminated
Fine Gael’s Micheal Carrigy and Barry Ward elected to Upper House for first time
Former Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley faces an uphill struggle to secure a seat in the Seanad. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times
Fine Gael’s Catherine Noone. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Two newcomers were the first elected in the latest round of the ongoing Seanad election count as other high profile Oireachtas members are to leave Leinster House.
Fine Gael Longford Cllr Micheal Carrigy was elected first followed by his party colleague Dun Laoghaire Cllr Barry Ward.
Their successes follow the departure of their party colleague Catherine Noone who lost the Seanad seat she has held since 2011.
And former Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley failed in his bid to return to the Oireachtas through the Seanad .
Former Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion topped the poll with 95 votes but after 26 counts was still waiting for a single transfer and her projected win was at risk last night amid concerns that the party’s voting strategy may not have worked.
However Indpendent Senator and musician Frances Black was expected to retain her seat.
Well-regarded Dublin Fianna Fáil Senator Gerry Horkan also lost his seat but his transfers elected Senator Aidan Davitt and newcomer, Galway councillor Ollie Crowewho has begun to rejuvenate the party’s base in Galway City.
Party Seanad leader Catherine Ardagh was also re-elected.
A competition for the last two seats was set to be a head-to-head between Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats candidate Nial O Tuathail and Labour Cllr Mark Wall.
Fine Gael is likely to get a third seat but has yet to elect a female Senator with just one of the five vocational panels to be counted. Still in contention is former TD and Senator Tom Sheahan who surprised his Fine Gael colleagues with a strong performance through the counts.
Mr Dooley is the second high profile casualty after Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone lost her seat and was excluded on the 14th count.
Both had become embroiled in national controversy in recent months.
Mr Dooley, who lost his Clare Dáil seat in the general election, was one of the party’s most senior politicians, and had hoped to make a return to the Oireachtas through the Seanad.
He was at the centre of the “fobgate” controversy when he left the Dáil chamber and his Limerick colleague Niall Collins voted for him six times in his absence. Mr Dooley lost his portfolio as the party’s spokesman on communications, environment and natural resources.
Ms Noone became embroiled in controversy during the general election over remarks she made about the Taoiseac
Ms Noone had described Leo Varadkar as “autistic” during her general election campaign run in Dublin Bay North but subsequently apologised. The Taoiseach said that while her comments were ignorant it was not proportionate for her to lose her job.
A colourful politician and solicitor by profession, she campaigned on health issues and called for “no fry-zone” near schools and for ice cream vans to be regulated as part of efforts to combat childhood obesity.
The 43-year old Claremorris, Co Mayo woman was praised as chair of the Oireachtas committee on the Eighth Amendment on abortion.
First elected to the Seanad in 2011 she was the Taoiseach’s running mate in Dublin West in the 2016 general election, where she failed to win a seat and ran unsuccessfully in Dublin Bay North in 2020,