Loss of Seanad seat spells end for Taylor Quinn

THE political career of former Clare TD Madeleine Taylor Quinn was in tatters last night when she lost her seat in the Seanad.

After failing in her bid to regain a seat in the Dáil in the general election, the former Fine Gael frontbencher was edged out by her party colleagues in the race for a seat in the Seanad.

Former FG frontbencher Brian Hayes and FG’s Tipperary North election candidate Noel Coonan held the party’s two seats on the Cultural and Educational Panel in the Seanad.

Having lost his seat in Dublin South West to Sinn Féin, Mr Hayes was fighting for his political survival, while Mr Coonan was seeking to take back a seat for the party in his constituencies. The election of Mr Hayes and Mr Coonan was also a victory for the party leadership as they were the officially endorsed candidates.

Fianna Fáil’s three sitting senators also held on to their seats. Radio presenter Paschal Mooney topped the poll in the Cultural and Educational Panel, followed by Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann chief Labhrás O Murchú, Ann Ormonde and John Brassill.

Counting of votes in the Seanad election continues today, and most results should be known by tomorrow evening.

A total of 971 outgoing senators, sitting TDs and members of local authorities are electing 43 of the 60 members to the new Seanad.

The candidates represent vocational interests including Labour, Industry and Commerce and Public Administration, Agriculture and Culture and Education.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will also nominate 11 senators, while National University of Ireland and University of Dublin graduates will elect three candidates each.

There were 23 candidates standing for the six university seats in a postal ballot of almost 102,000 graduates. The voting deadline is today.

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