Martin sees five of ‘list of 10’ elected

FIANNA FÁIL leader Micheál Martin narrowly avoided a potential backlash from within his own party after five out of his chosen “list of 10” candidates were successful in the Seanad elections.

The party has claimed its fight-back has begun after what it believes was a successful Seanad campaign in which it has secured 12 out of the 36 seats allocated so far under the five vocational panels.

With promises by the new Government to hold a referendum on the abolition of the Upper House, long-serving Senator David Norris said incoming members should “give a full performance” because the Seanad is under a “probationary period.”

Mr Norris, who topped the poll under the Trinity College Constituency, said he will be urging others to “treat the Seanad with respect, to have a full legislative programme and to regard our work as very serious.”

One of Fianna Fáil’s only two women Oireachtas members, Averil Power, admitted the party faces a “big difficulty” by having such a low level of female representations.

Ms Power was elected to the Industrial and Commercial Panel along with her party colleague, Marc MacSharry, who was on Mr Martin’s preferred “list of ten” and long-serving Senator Mary White who was not on the list.

Former Cavan Monaghan TD, Margaret Conlon, failed to get elected.

Mr Martin’s strategy to have younger Dáil hopefuls elected to the Seanad replacing the old guard of career senators had mixed success, with party sources saying he would have been badly exposed in the party if he failed to get at least five of his preferred candidates past the line.

The third day of counting also left the Green Party without any Oireachtas representation after party chairman, Dan Boyle, was eliminated from the Industrial and Commercial Panel after the 11th count and Niall Ó Brolcháin was unsuccessful as a National University of Ireland (NUI) candidate.

With the NUI count complete, outgoing senator Rónán Mullen topped the poll and was joined by Feargal Quinn, and newcomer John Crown, a consultant oncologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.

Presidential hopeful David Norris was joined on the Trinity College panel by Ivana Bacik.

The final outcome of the 49 elected Senators is expected to be known tonight.

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