Seanad Elections see ousted TDs on Culture and Educational Panel

Early tallies indicate in the NUI Seanad race that the three outgoing senators – Michael McDowell, Ronan Mullen and Alice Mary Higgins – all are well placed to be returned.
Seanad Elections see ousted TDs on Culture and Educational Panel
Former government chief whip and Fine Gael TD Sean Kyne was the first person to be elected to the Seanad's Cultural and Educational panel. File picture.

Three former TDs are among the first five people to be elected to the Seanad.

Former government chief whip and Fine Gael TD Sean Kyne was the first person to be elected on Tuesday on the upper chamber's Cultural and Educational panel.

Former Fianna Fail TDs Lisa Chambers and Malcolm Byrne who also lost their seats in February's general election were elected.

Former Sinn Fein senator Fintan Warfield and Fine Gael county councillor John McGahon were also elected.

Mr Kyne was the first person elected to the new Seanad having passed the quota on the 14th count on the Cultural and Educational Panel.

Benefitting from significant from transfers from party colleagues elimated, Mr Kyne lost his Dáil seat in the February General Election but is seen as close to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Green Party hopeful Saoirse McHugh had secured a strong first preference vote and was well placed up until the end, but has struggled to remain transfer friendly was pipped by Mr McGahon.

This election has seen some high profile losses with former Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach eliminated on the ninth count.

Mr Breathnach said that in estimating the support of voters “you should count the number of votes you’re promised and divide by two”.

Fine Gael’s Tom Neville, lost his Limerick Dáil seat in the general election also lost out on seat when counting stopped shortly before midnight on Monday.

Along with Mr Neville failing to secure a seat, his outgoing Senate colleague Westmeath senator Gabrielle McFadden lost her seat and was eliminated on the 10th count.

Meanwhile, the NUI Seanad race, it appears from early tallies that the three outgoing senators – Michael McDowell, Ronan Mullen and Alice Mary Higgins – all are well placed to be returned.

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