Ex-Tánaiste Michael McDowell likely to run for Seanad

Former Tánaiste Michael McDowell is likely to run for a Seanad seat, the Irish Examiner can reveal.
Ex-Tánaiste Michael McDowell likely to run for Seanad

The former Progressive Democrats leader, who is one of the country’s most eminent senior counsels, looks to be eyeing up one of the two seats on the NUI panel.

At present, the three seats are occupied by Ronan Mullen, John Crown, and Feargal Quinn. Mr Quinn has announced his intention to retire at the end of this Seanad term, while it is understood that oncology professor Mr Crown will also not seek another term.

Amid speculation swirling around Leinster House yesterday, Mr McDowell refused to rule out interest in a seat in the Upper House.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, he said he had not made up his mind and when asked would he rule it out, he would only go as far as to say that he had not begun deliberating the matter.

Mr McDowell exited the national political stage in 2007 when he lost his seat to Lucinda Creighton in the Dublin south east constituency.

Combative and formidable, Mr McDowell is a political heavyweight given his pedigree, and would be a considerable addition to the ranks of the Seanad. He was a passionate advocate for its retention in the run up to the 2014 campaign to abolish it.

Last summer, Mr McDowell’s son Hugh was hired as a parliamentary assistant to Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton.

Elsewhere, former trade union leader David Begg has also confirmed his interest in contesting the upcoming Seanad election.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, he said that he is considering it. “It’s something I’m thinking about. I haven’t made any decisions yet, but I would not be a Labour party candidate.”

If he does run, Mr Begg said he would seek election as an NUI candidate.

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