Seanad Election: The NUI

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.

Thomas Canning

A civil engineer, non-party. No other information available at this time.

Matthias Cowleyhttps://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 Coylehttp://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 Doorleyhttp://www.jamesdoorley.com/

Labour Party. Former Chairperson of the Consumer Association of Ireland and member of the National Economic and Social Council.

Paddy Healyhttp://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.

Declan Kelleherhttp://www.into.ie/ROI/NewsEvents/LatestNews/NewsArchive/NewsArchive2010/December2010/Title,17783,en.php

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.

Helen Keoghhttp://www.worldvision.ie/news/04032011-helen-keogh-to-run-for-seanad

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.

Mick Langan

A tourism promoter and photographer. No other info at this time.

Paul Lynam

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 Mooneyhttp://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 Mullenhttp://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.

Eoin O’Brion

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’Brolchainhttp://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 Cadhlahttp://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’Connellhttp://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’Connorhttp://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’Donnellhttp://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.

James O’Donoghue

Non-Party. A “Scientist”. No other information at the present time.

Linda O’Shea Farrenhttp://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.

Bernadine O’Sullivan

Non-Party. Teacher. Two previous failed Seanad runs. Former President of the ASTI.

Brendan Pricehttp://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 Quinnhttp://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 Sullivanhttp://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.

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5 Responses to Seanad Election: The NUI

  1. Thanks for taking an interest in the forthcoming Seanad Eireann Election, in the National University of Ireland constituency.
    I’m Matthias Cowley – and I am running as an Independent in the NUI constituency.
    You mentioned, I was teaching in Bruce College, Dublin; I am no longer teaching in Bruce – it unfortunately, closed down and went out of existence a few years ago.
    Apologies, for not having a website ready just yet. However, you can follow and contact me via my Twitter page.

  2. Hi there,

    I am Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, candidate of The Peoples Convention (CPPC) in the Seanad NUI election.

    You have described CPPC and, by implication myself also, as “hard left” and “bordering on communist” – I don’t accept these descriptions and I can’t see how you could conclude this if you read the CPPC documents or listened to our presentations.

    I believe that to think of our society today in terms of “left” or “right” is outdated to say the least, the main issue we raise is the lack of democracy in our country. We have never advocated the socialisation of property or the means of production or anything like that. In fact, the only area of policy that CPPC is concerned with is DEMOCRACY, that is usually our criticism.

    We think the citizens should have the say in how our country is run – we are sovereign and we must reject any efforts to exclude the people – which is why I am standing.

    You mention that all are for reforms – we are highlighting that these proposed reforms are actually a deception – to give us LESS democracy!

    I respect your entitlement to your view but I would appreciate it if you allowed my correction on these matters.

    Finally, I invite you to review my stand in this election and I would welcome your comments – see http://www.cppc.ie/seanad

    Best wishes,

    Diarmaid.

  3. HandsofBlue says:

    Your comment has been noted and directed to in the original post but i will not be making any “corrections” on my personal views because a candidate doesn’t like them.

    I use the term “bordering on communist” because your party is essentially advocating a Soviet style direct democracy system of government, albeit a very idealised version. Would you prefer I change the word “communist” to “soviet”? Is that better?

    Your party is left, direct democracy being a staple of Marxism, social anarchism, and and libertarian style socialism. I have no interest in dancing around the issue of political labels, I’ve argued with enough people who think that the words “left” and “right” are insulting for some reason, when I use them in a descriptive manner only. If you honestly think that your party and its membership aren’t to the left, fair enough, but you really shouldn’t be shocked when people assume you are. Left politics isn’t all “means of production” as you put it.

    Every other candidate is singing the same song about the proposed reforms of the Seanad. You get no kudos for that. Tell me how, if you are elected to the Seanad, YOU specifically, will get the current Oireachtas to reform rather then abolish the Seanad. How will YOU do it? Your first day in the Blue Room, what’s your game plan? What’s the back-up plan? How will you get your ideas implemented within the Oireachtas?

    No candidate ever does that, they just offer the worst kind of platitudes “I’ll be a strong voice for democracy!” and all such nonsense, as if that is even possible within something as broken as the Seanad.

  4. Craig says:

    Having one aspect of a certain ideology does not mean you belong to it. The CPPC bears no hammer-and-sickles on its website, it doesn’t prattle on about equality and it doesn’t call for the abolition of private enterprise. So how you draw the conclusion that they are hard left is quite beyond me. For example, a mostly right-wing candidate who happened to show more than average concern for environmental issues could hardly be defined as a Green based on that concern alone.

    You are right, though, that there are far too many empty platitudes in Irish politics. Having read the election material and websites for the Seanad 2011 candidates I can say that I’m deeply unimpressed by the lot of them.

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