LGBT campaigner Fintan Warfield elected first to 25th Seanad

Picture: Sam Boal/

LGBT campaigner Fintan Warfield is the first person to be elected to the 25th Seanad.

Counting of votes for the Upper House got underway yesterday with 60 seats up for grabs. It will be later this week before all members are elected as only one panel can be counted at a time.

Sinn Féin’s Mr Warfield, 24, was elected to the cultural and educational panel on the first count with 200 votes, 13 over the quota.

In total, 166 candidates are hoping to gain a Seanad seat. These include 13 former TDs who lost their Dáil seats in the general election.

Some 43 of the 60 members of the next Seanad will be elected by local councillors, TDs and outgoing senators to five panels representing vocational interests — namely, culture and education, agriculture, labour, industry and commerce, and public administration.

Another 11 senators are nominated by the Taoiseach, while the final six are elected by university graduates — three each by the National University of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin.

Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are expected to make significant gains in the Upper House because of their strong representation at local government level.

Labour are expected to be the biggest losers, with around three seats.

After his election, Mr Warfield, former mayor of South Dublin County Council, said: “As a young person involved in the arts and an LGBT activist, I will be a progressive voice on these issues in the Seanad. I hope that in the coming days, I will be joined in the Seanad by an enlarged Sinn Féin team.

“To have been elected on the centenary of the Rising is a massive honour and privilege, and I look forward to working with the rest of my colleagues in Leinster House to fight for the type of change promised in the Proclamation.”

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams congratulated Mr Warfield yesterday evening and said: Fintan has served on South Dublin County Council for the past two years, including as mayor of South Dublin in 2014/15, is a talented young musician, advocate for the arts, and a prominent LGBT campaigner.”

Counting for the university panels gets under way this morning when the deadline for postal votes lapses.

While it is expected that there will be full turnout for the vocational panels, only around 30% of those entitled to vote for the university panels are expected to do so.


When Marisa Murphy went to play as a teenager on Dinish Island, she could still see the flowers growing among the ruins in her grandmother’Islands of Ireland: Barely inhabitated Dinish became an industrial zone

MAC make-up artist Lucy Bridge shares her tips backstage at Roland Mouret.How to create the perfect matte red lip, according to a backstage beauty expert

New trends include chunky heeled boots, silver belts and lots of plaid from the British designer.Victoria Beckham got ‘rebellious’ for her new collection – as David and family watched on

When horses were shown photographs of angry human faces, their hearts speeded up.Jackass penguin talk is similar to humans

More From The Irish Examiner