Seanad losses for Fine Gael

Fine Gael has been dealt a further blow after high- profile candidates failed to get elected to the Seanad.

Outgoing senator Michael Comiskey and Anthony Lawlor and Noel Coonan — who both failed to retain their Dáil positions — missed out on Seanad seats in another significant setback for Enda Kenny’s party.

The Cultural and Education panel and the Agriculture panel have been filled, while counting began on the Labour panel last night.

Counting is ongoing to elect the six members of the University panel. On the NUI vote, tallies showed former Progressive Democrat leader and justice minister Michael McDowell would gain a seat, along with outgoing senator Rónán Mullen.

Counting also began on the Labour panel last night, where outgoing senator Gerard Craughwell and former TD Jerry Buttimer were expected to take seats.

Sinn Féin candidates Rose Conway-Walsh and Trevor Ó Clochartaigh won the first two seats on the Agricultural panel yesterday morning.

It was a historic day for the Green Party which claimed its first seat though the Vocational panel after Grace O’Sullivan was elected. Previous Green Party senators came through Taoiseach’s nominees or by-elections.

Fianna Fáil’s Denis O’Donovan, Briain Ó Domhnaill and Paul Daly; Independent Victor Boyhan; Fine Gael’s Paddy Burke, Tim Lombard, and Maria Byrne; and Labour’s Denis Landy were also elected to the 11-seat Agriculture panel.

Those elected to the Cultural and Educational panel are Sinn Féin’s Fintan Warfield, former Fine Gael TDs Gabrielle McFadden and Kieran O’Donnell, and Fianna Fáil’s Lorraine Clifford-Lee and Keith Swanick.

Sinn Féin topped the poll for the third time when Maire Devine was elected to the Labour panel in the first count last night. Paul Gavan of Sinn Féin was elected to the Labour panel on the second count.

However, out-going Fine Gael senator Maurice Cummins looks likely to lose out.


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