Micheál Martin announces Seanad nominees, with Regina Doherty named leader of upper house

Micheál Martin announces Seanad nominees, with Regina Doherty named leader of upper house
A visible effort from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to improve the gender balance of their Seanad representation was evident.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced his 11 nominees to the Seanad.

It's clear that the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael attempted to improve the gender balance of their Seanad showing, with Fianna Fáil electing three women, and Fine Gael electing four.

Former Fine Gael Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty will be the Leader of the upper house.

Fianna Fáil's Mary Fitzpatrick, a Dublin City Councillor since May 2019, and previously between 2004 and 2014. Known to be favoured by the party leader, Fitzpatrick lost out on the final seat in Bertie Ahern's old constituency in February. It's understood Mr Martin campaigned consistently for his colleague as the party were keen to win back the seat.

Lorraine Clifford Lee will return to the Seanad, after failing to get elected in February.

She is seen as a strong representative with a bright future in the party.

Erin McGreehan, a councillor on Louth County Council is a strong supporter of leader Micheál Martin and is regarded as a hard worker by her party colleagues.

Timmy Dooley, the long time TD and former Senator lost his seat in Clare in February after being mired in a voting scandal with two of his colleagues. He was seen as a loss to the party in the area and it's understood the party were keen to see him return to the Oireachtas.

For Fine Gael, Regina Doherty, the former Minister of Social Protection has been rewarded for her continued hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic after losing her seat in February.

Aisling Dolan, from Poolboy, Ballinasloe, is a councillor on Galway County Council is another up and comer in the party, with a farming background and previously worked for Enterprise Ireland.

Emer Currie, from outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's own Dublin constituency and his running mate in the February election, she is the daughter of civil rights leader Austin Currie and seen as a rising star in the party with big ambitions.

Mary Seery Kearney, a South Dublin County Councillor from Templeogue was tipped by party colleagues early on as someone Leo Varadkar would elect to the upper house.

For the Green Party, Vincent P Martin, a practising barrister (Senior Counsel) and a councillor elected to Kildare County Council last summer.

He is the current director of the Public Access to Law Group (P.A.L.) and is the brother of Deputy Leader of the Green Party Catherine Martin.

Róisín Garvey, the Clare councillor was involved in government formation negotiations on rural development, due to her experience in rural economics and passion for local communities. The party is seeking to bolster its votes in the more rural regions of the country, and Garvey is a signal they mean business in this area.

Eileen Flynn, the agreed independent senator will be the first Traveller woman elected to the Seanad. She lost out in her first Seanad run by a narrow margin, and has been chosen by the three parties to become a senator.

An activist who publicly supported the repealing of the Eighth Amendment, her work on behalf of the Travelling community that has seen her rise to prominence in the years since.

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