The Seanad elections are coming up shortly. I won’t be covering them in any great detail, other than the NUI constituency, my own.
The list of candidates has been confirmed, 27 in all. The ballot operates under STV-PR rules with three candidates elected. The quota last time was just under 9’000, for reference but none of the candidates came anywhere near it.
The problem with the Seanad election is, naturally, the impersonal nature of it. Since the electorate is scattered all over the country, traditional canvassing is next to impossible, so candidates are mostly limited to mail and online electioneering. This creates problems for the less well off and the non-party candidates, who simply can’t get enough attention.
For what it’s worth, here is what I have found out, or not found out, as the case may be, from some searching round.
A civil engineer, non-party. No other information available at this time.
Matthias Cowley – https://twitter.com/#!/Perpicacious
A former second level teacher in the now defunct Bruce College, Dublin. Non party, no other information available at this time.
James Coyle – http://www.jamescoyle.ie/wpb/
An accountant and Independent candidate who stood in the General Election in Dublin South-East gaining 164 votes.
Dr John Crown
An oncologist, non-party. A frequent newspaper columnist and radio guest, noted for his opposition to Fianna Fail’s health strategy.
James Doorley – http://www.jamesdoorley.com/
Labour Party. Former Chairperson of the Consumer Association of Ireland and member of the National Economic and Social Council.
Paddy Healy – http://paddyhealy.wordpress.com/
Non–Party, turned out from Labour. Former President of the Teachers Union of Ireland and part of the Trotskyist “League for a Workers Republic”. Has contested numerous General Elections, with no success. Brother of Seamus Healy, recently elected a TD for the ULA in Tipp South.
Non-Party. Former President of the INTO, Principal of Corofin NS, Clare.
John Kennedy – http://johnkennedy.eu/
Fine Gael, a software-engineer. Fairly active in the parties youth wing, but has been unable to get a nomination for a GE run. Ran in 2007, finishing 10th out of 24.
Fine Gael, formerly a Progressive Democrat. TD from 1992 to 1997, nominated Senator from 89-92, 97-02. Currently CEO of World Vision Ireland and Chairperson of Dochas. She appears to be running as an Independent, having previously retired from politics.
A tourism promoter and photographer. No other info at this time.
Current President of the UCD Student Union. A member of Ogra Fianna Fail.
David McCurtain – http://www.davidmccurtin.ie
Non-Party. A Vice Principle of an NS in Cork with Department of Justice and INTO experience running on a Seanad reform platform.
Dr Michael Molloy
An MD. No other info available at this time.
Peter Mooney – http://petermooney.eu/
Non-Party. A former radio producer with RTE, currently part of the Irish Medical Council and co-owner of a media company.
Senator Ronan Mullen – http://www.ronanmullen.ie/index.php
An Independent member of the chamber, finished second in 2007. A lecturer in law and communication in Blancherdstown IT, Mullen is noted for two main points during his Seanad career, his opposition to Civil Partnerships and Stem Cell Research views he has carried onto his role in the Council of Europe.
Sinn Fein. A former member of Belfast City Council, active in Sinn Fein and its Ogra wing. A published author (all on Sinn Fein and left politics), currently a freelance writer. Stood for election in 2007 and last month, defeated in both, but only narrowly last time.
Niall O’Brolchain – http://www.niallobrolchain.ie/main/
Green Party, a sitting Senator from the Agricultural panel. An IT analyst and former Councillor in Galway. Has failed in three Dail runs. Very Galway focused in his issues.
Diarmaid O Cadhla – http://www.cppc.ie/candidates/profile/diarmaid_o_cadhla
A member of CPPC, the hard left (bordering on communist) micro-party. Got just over 500 votes in the General Election. Has offered his own opinions, in the comments section, below.
Donnacha O’Connell – http://www.nuigalway.ie/law/Staff/donncha_oconnell.html
Non Party. A lecturer in law at NUIG. Former director of Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
Regina O’Connor – http://europeanunionthereasonswhy.blogspot.com/
Solicitor. Not strictly a member, but was an advisor to Fianna Fail MEPs. Published author on the EU, and a member of numerous legal and political organisations.
Francis Martin O’Donnell – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100002146387125
Non-Party. A retired UN official, responsible for the coordination of thousands of UN works in dozens of countries and missions during his 30+ years of service. A former UN representative in the Ukraine, Serbia and Montenegro. A member of the Knights of Malta, currently serving as that organisations ambassador to Slovakia.
Non-Party. A “Scientist”. No other information at the present time.
Linda O’Shea Farren – http://www.lindaosheafarren.ie/
Non-Party. A solicitor, with three previous failed Seanad runs. A member of the NUI Senate, former advisor to the Rainbow Coalition government of the nineties. A major advocate for special needs rights.
Non-Party. Teacher. Two previous failed Seanad runs. Former President of the ASTI.
Brendan Price – http://www.brendanprice.com/default.htm
Non-Party. Biologist, with five previous failed Seanad runs and one failed MEP run. Heavy on the environmental issues and lobbying. Seems somewhat passive-aggressive about his previous failures.
Feargal Quinn – http://www.feargalquinn.ie/index.php
A sitting Senator, elected four times on the trot. Founder of the Superquinn market chain and member of numerous government and administrative boards such as An Post. A member of several Oireachtas Committees.
Daniel Sullivan – http://www.danielsullivan.ie/
Fine Gael, formerly a Green. An IT professional. One failed Seanad and local run under his belt. A returning emigrant.
That’s it. I’ll write more when there is more to write about. As it is, in terms of policy, it’s fairly uniform across the board. They all want to reform rather than abolish the Seanad, they all make lots of promises to do things that they don’t actually have the power to do. It’s not great.