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16 May 2016 Edition

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Seven Shinners for the Seanad

Many of the Sinn Féin candidates topped the poll or were elected on the first count

ELECTION SUCCESS continued for Sinn Féin with the party more than doubling its number of senators in the Oireachtas in April from three to seven to complement the increased team of TDs of 23 (up from 14) after the Dáil election in February.

The seven are: Pádraig Mac Lochlainn from Donegal (Industrial & Commercial Panel); Rose Conway-Walsh from Mayo and Trevor Ó Clochartaigh from Galway (Agriculture Panel); Fintan Warfield from Dublin (Culture & Education Panel); Niall Ó Donnghaile from Belfast (Administrative Panel); and Máire Devine from Dublin and Paul Gavan from Limerick (Labour Panel).

Many of them topped the poll or were elected on the first count.

Sinn Féin nominated US-based Ciarán Staunton as an Independent candidate for the Industrial & Commercial Panel as a “voice for the Diaspora”. The Mayoman, who has lived in the United States since the 1980s, was co-founder of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in the USA whose goal is resolving the status of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the country.

Although he didn’t get elected, the Irish Times said he polled “a highly respectable” vote  and stayed in the race until the 31st count.

Singer Frances Black, founder of addiction charity RISE foundation, was elected as an Independent to the Industrial & Commercial Panel), benefiting from transfers from Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, who comfortably topped the poll.

Frances said she was “absolutely over the moon” at her election and she wants to be a “voice for the vulnerable, for those impacted by addiction, mental health, homelessness and disability”.

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