LIMERICK’S nine Seanad hopefuls will find out if they have been successful in their bid to reach the Upper House when the results of the election are revealed this week.
Rumours in political circles that Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Maria Byrne, may be nominated by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the Seanad have been dismissed by the Mayor.
The Taoiseach can appoint 11 members of the new Seanad, but he is unlikely to make political appointments according to Mayor Byrne who told the Limerick Leader that the Fine Gael party leader is likely to appoint members of charitable organisations instead.
“It would be an honour but this is the first I’ve heard about it,” she said in reference to rumours of an elevation to the Upper House. “I certainly have not gone actively looking for anything like that.”
There are already three Fine Gael candidates in Limerick who are in the race for the Seanad, who may feel more than a little disgruntled if a party colleague who had not put her name forward to contest the election, then received a nomination from the Taoiseach.
The Fine Gael hopefuls are Limerick County Council chairman, Richard Butler, county councillor, John Sheahan and city councillor Pat Kennedy.
“My campaign went very well,” said Cathaoirleach, Cllr Butler. “They are starting the counts on Tuesday and I’m more than hopeful. I’m happy with the way it went, in so much as I couldn’t have done any more. If I fail, there is still nothing extra that I could have done that would have changed it in any way.”
The Limerick candidates have canvassed councillors, TDs and outgoing senators across the country who elect 43 members to the Seanad.
Others to get outside nominations to the various panels include Labour’s Cllr Joe Leddin, and former IFA leader John Dillon.
Labour county councillor James Heffernan is one of seven candidates to get the nod for an inside nomination from his party.
Former Progressive Democrats TD Fiona O’Malley, an outgoing senator, who was born in Limerick and is a daughter of Des O’Malley, is seeking the support of Trinity graduates to return to the Seanad on this occasion.
Seeking the support of NUI graduates are Corbally’s Dan Sullivan, chairman of An Taisce in Limerick, and Linda O’Shea Farren, a solicitor and disability rights advocate originally from the Roxboro area.