HOPES DASHED Cllr Patsy O’Brien was eliminated following the 13th count in the Seanad elections. Pic: Trish Forde
Patsy O’Brien’s ambitions of becoming a senator ended this afternoon (Thursday) after he was eliminated following the 13th count in the Seanad elections.
The Robeen-based county councillor was running as an Independent candidate in the Industrial and Commercial Panel after he was not ratified as an official Fine Gael party candidate. He was recently suspended from the party ‘pending an investigation by the party into an allegation against him’.
Cllr O’Brien was one of 34 candidates seeking to win one of the nine seats on the Industrial and Commercial Panel after he was nominated by the Electrical Industries Federation of Ireland.
Following the first count, Cllr O’Brien was on 20,000. He picked up just another 2,000 transfers before he was eliminated on the 13th count.
The total electorate made up of Dáil deputies, outgoing senators and city and county councillors was 1,135, but for counting purposes each vote is multiplied by 1,000. The quota was therefore set at 113,501.
Claremorris native and current senator Catherine Noone was also running in same panel but her term in the Upper House looks like it has come to an end after she was eliminated in the 14th count with 29,000 votes. Counting is continuing in Dublin Castle to fill the nine seats.
The only other Mayo-based candidates to succeed in this year’s Seanad elections were veteran senator Paddy Burke and former Mayo TD, Lisa Chambers. Senator Burke, who has been a member of the Seanad since 1993, was elected to the Agricultural Panel, while Chambers was elected to the Cultural and Educational Panel. They will be joined by Ballindine-native Pippa Hackett, who was also elected to the Agricultural Panel as a Green Party candidate.
There was disappointment for her Achill-based Green Party colleague Saoirse McHugh, who narrowly missed out on a seat in the Cultural and Educational Panel, while Sinn Féin councillor Gerry Murray from Charlestown also missed out in the Agricultural Panel.
In the two University panels, Castlebar-based businessperson Anne Staunton-Barrett and Attymass native Keith Scanlon both failed to get elected.
There are no Mayo-based candidates running in the Administrative Panel, which will be the final panel to be counted. When that count is completed, 49 of the 60 Seanad seats will be filled with the remaining eleven to be nominated by the Taoiseach, which will only happen following the formation of a new government.