Independent Media Centre Ireland

NUI Seanad Election candidates

category national | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Friday June 01, 2007 19:50author by Bachelor of Arts

quick review of Seanad candidates

Below is discussion on the Seanad election under the National University of Ireland constituency. 3 Senators are elected from the following 24 candidates.

The Seanad is a highly undemocratic body. 43 Senators are elected by Cllrs, TDs and Senators. The nomination process is highly undemocratic. There are then 11 chosen solely by the Taoiseach. The remaining 6 are elected by graduates of NUI colleges/universities and University of Dublin (Trinity). Here is a quick review of the candidates.

Valerie Bresnihan: an academic playing up 'social justice'

Shane Brodbin: seems like a careerist politician.

Mark Connolly: has no website. From Cork works in financial services.

Liam Crowley: Fianna Fáil

Mark Garavan: involved in Shell2Sea. Generally on the right/conservative wing of that campaign.

Paddy Healy: former TUI president. Endorced by TUI and IFUT unions. Anti-social partnership.

Dr. John Hillery: former IMO president. Possibly FG or FF?

Martin Hogan: Green Party

John Kennedy: Fine Gael

Martina Lowe: no website.

Dáithí MacCárthaigh: Barrister from Meath. right-winger

Oonagh Monahan: self-promoting Debating society type.

Rónán Mullen: "Family Solidarity" candidate. Right-winger/ Pro-lifer.

Bernie O’Callaghan: no wesbite, A hotel owner.

Liam Ó Gógáin: "Fathers Rights" candidate.

Mary O’Riordan: medical Doctor from Limerick. No website

Linda O’Shea Farren: a solicitor and former office holder in NUI. Portraying herself as human rights activist.

Bernadine O'Sullivan: ASTI candidate. Opposed to social partnership. Prominant during teachers' dispute a few years ago. Came close last time.

Joe O'Toole: Sitting Senator. INTO candidate. Right-wing union bureaucrat type fully supportive of social partnership deals.

Susan Philips: describes herself as a 'political analyst'. Was appointed to Board of Carlow RTC by FF/Labour government.

Brendan Price: Founder of Irish Seal Sanctuary

Feargal Quinn: owner of Superquinn supermarkets. Sitting Senator.

Brendan Ryan: sitting Senator. Labour Party candidate

Daniel Sullivan: Fine Gael candidate. cynically describing himself as a disability rights campaigner.

Comments (155 of 155)

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author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 01, 2007 20:43author address author phone

cynical eh? If you read my blog you will find out in detail why I've put what I've put on the ballot. The election swamped all sorts of issues and irrespective of who gets into government I would like to see that issue addressed. I'm not rehashing it here, go read the blog. Something I might have thought such clever folks like those at indymedia might have done.

I am an FG member and have never denied or hidden the fact. I am not a FG candidate, as FG aren't running anyone. I'm not hiding anything

I would ask the folks from indymedia to, even at this stage, to try and make some minimal effort to contact a person before launching into an obvious smear campaign. Pretty typical from indymedia though I guess in their view only people who work those with a disability "really understand the issues" while the families directly affected I guess know nothing. It might shock them but members of FF, FG, SF and even the PDs will have family members with a disability.

You folks at indymedia really care don't you?

author by Tosserpublication date Fri Jun 01, 2007 21:05author address author phone

The link on your blog to "My Platform" is broken.

author by UCD graduatepublication date Sat Jun 02, 2007 15:15author address author phone

If elected to the National Parliament you would support and vote with FG Senators. I am sure you aspire towards a Dáil seat and will use Seanad éireann to achieve that. As far as I am concerned you are a Fine gael candidate. I don't support FG and their right-wing agenda.

author by FG Watchpublication date Sat Jun 02, 2007 15:38author address author phone

Sullivan is a FG member and he should be open about it. His running-mate John Kennedy is a laugh. Look at his pose on his website. He's like a 12 year old in a suit for his cousin's wedding posing for a photograph all serious. ha ha.

author by Jerry Corneliuspublication date Sat Jun 02, 2007 17:09author address author phone

"Paddy Healy: former TUI president. Endorced by TUI and IFUT unions. Anti-social partnership."

If you have a vote and are going to vote in the Seanad elections then Paddy Healy is the best bet for socialists. Hes got a 40 year record of involvement in workers and republican struggles.

Put a real socialist in that dung heap!

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Sat Jun 02, 2007 17:12author address author phone

The NUI does not allow people to mention political parties on the ballot paper unless those parties have endorsed them and the individuals have documentation to back this up. And if I were to be elected I would not be taking the FG whip as I have not stood as an FG candidate. I've been quite open about what I would do and it has been discussed to death on and I'm sorry if you guys don't bother to keep up to date on things but I'm hardly going to rehash it all here.

I've not made any attempt to hide my membership of FG. It would be kind of hard to hide don't you think when I'm linking to my blog on my literature and I was a local election candidate. If you google for the name, you'll find it pretty easily.

The real folks doing the hiding are on here.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Sun Jun 03, 2007 13:43author address author phone

Dan - your FG membership shows that you will be a FG gene-pool independent! It shows your right-wing political philosophy that will never result in justice for disabled people. I also think your last posting shows that you are a FGer, but a disloyal FGer. Why the hell won't you be a FG senator if elected? If I were in a party and a party member was running for Parliament without party backing I'd move for them to be expelled as being disloyal.

Paddy Healy certainly does have a good programme. So far he's got my #1 and Bernadine O'Sullivan my #2. I'd be interested to hear more about his "republican" struggles? What organisations and campaigns has he been involved in? Like FG's Dan Sullivan I don't want to vote for some kind of gene-pool independent or some establishment party "sleeper cnadidate".

author by Dubpublication date Sun Jun 03, 2007 19:05author address author phone

Paddy Healy is brother of former Tipp South TD Seamus Healy. Paddy was a founding member of League for a Workers' Republic. If I had an NUI degree he'd probably get my number 1 if he clarified what his views are on wider political issues. His website has a lot about specific issues. I'd be interested in hearing his wider philospohy.

author by Updatepublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 18:27author address author phone

Tina is running as an independent and is standing on issues including disability rights and rights for marginalised groups.

Her website is:

And blog:

author by No Bodypublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 18:31author address author phone

Decide for yourselves if Valerie Bresnihan is "an academic playing up 'social justice'"

author by seanad voterpublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 20:54author address author phone

Valerie Bresnihan is boasting about how Peter Sutherland and other various solicitors and clergymen are backing her... Certainly will not be getting even a hint o a preference off me.

I want to see people in the parliament that will use their positions to assist workers struggles not just another right wing careerist that will accept the status quo and a huge salary.

That's why I'm interested in Paddy Healy, he's active in a union, opposes social partnership. I'd like to hear more from him though. Will he take a workers wage? Is he principly opposed to social partnership?

author by uspublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 20:58author address author phone

what are garavins chances, I wonder if he gets elected will it make a difference to our giveaway of gas.
he might be our last best hope to have this monster moved offshore and have the deal with shell scrapped.

author by Seananpublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 21:04author address author phone

Mark Garavan is yer man. He spoke out for us all.
Need say no more.He told us the way it is. He's the peoples VOICE.

author by Paulipublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 21:09author address author phone

From what I can remember Garavan was always on the conservative wing of the Shell to Sea campaign. If he is elected, practically what this could mean is that this section of the campaign is boosted and he'd use the authority of his Senate position to boost opposition to militant action against Shell.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Mon Jun 04, 2007 21:35author address author phone

It seems that Tina Lowe is a single issue candidate. There is nothing on other matters. She has only disability issues. What happens when the Seanad vote on laws & questions ministers on matters such as criminal justice, foreign affairs, the economy, etc. What will Tina's vote be? Same goes for Valerie Bresnihan who does seem like an academic that is interested in the poor... how very victorian of her. Paddy healy also has a few questions to answer. Healy's opposed to social partnership and is active in the workers movement. But where does he stand on the workers' wage? Will he do what Joe Higgins did and donate his salary over the average wage to campaigns? What are Healy's current political philosophies on wider matters outside education.

REMEMBER Seanad Éireann has a right to decide questions on all matters and questions all ministers. It should not be a place for single-issue type people with no real record who'll take no active role in other matters.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:52author address author phone

This was a perfect opportunity to not be a hurler on the ditch, yet you've spurned it. Why? It reads to me more like you've got a single issue which is social partnership and that's it. At least Martina and Valerie have the decency to put their names forward while you're hiding behind a pseudonym and carping about how no one is good enough for your vote.

What's your opinion on research funding, or how to encourage the use of bio fuels?

author by Bachelor of artspublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:26author address author phone

It looks like Dan is on the ditch. He's not even got the backing of his own party. Social Partnership is a big issue for the thousands of Teachers and Nurses with NUI degrees that have a vote. Senator Dan would obviously ignore these voters. I've no problem with a candidate with a single main issue. In fact, it can be good to see a proven track record on one issue. But I wanna hear their wider views as they expect our mandate for up to 5 years when all sorts of issues will come up in Seanad Éireann.

Research funding should be increased by State funds. There is too much 'strings attached' money going into University research. The state should be the source of funds. Tax big business to deliver this. On the use of bio-feuls: the goverment should ban all new 08 vehicles being petrol driven. Couple this with state assistance for provision at service stations and a generous scheme to convert older cars. What are your views Dan? I reckon you'd only have ineffective 'tax allowances' and you probably support big business funding of research. You're a FGer I don't expect any effective policies.

author by Oonagh Monahan - Truly Independentpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:36author email oonagh at oonaghmonahan dot ieauthor address author phone 087-2337497

Interesting description of me ! Brief, incomplete, and my debating days are long behind me, though nice to be remembered - thanks ! If you want to know about me these days - try for a current picture.

Related Link:
author by Informerpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:58author address author phone

Shane Bodbin - former DCUSU president & graduate rep on DCU Governing Authority.
Mark Connolly - supporter of the Government FF/PD.
Liam Crowley - FF, John O'Donoghue's director of elections in Kerry.
Rónán Mullen - FF, former member of staff in Dublin Diocesan Communications Office, possible Opus Dei member.
Linda O'Shea Farren - FG, worked with FG minister Nora Owen in the past.
Daithi MacCartaigh - seems to have support of Conradh na Gaeilge.

author by sp supporter (non retired)publication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 13:11author address author phone

I don't know about this guy Paddy Healey - I've never heard of him myself. There's one man who I think would be the best candidate for the job though. I think everybody knows who I'm referring to . Step forward Joe Higgins.

author by Yetipublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 13:24author address author phone

Unless Comrade Joe includes time travel in his extensive portfolio of skills, he can't be a candidate for the NUI seats, as nominations closed some time ago.

author by socialist party supporter (non retired)publication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 15:07author address author phone

That's a pity . Joe would be the man best able to speak up for the working class in the seanad . Hopefully he'll be able to give it a shot next time around.

author by Bachelor of artspublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 15:11author address author phone

I agree. Joe Higgins has a real chance next time of getting Dáil seat back. Hopefully there'll be a by-election in West Dublin or a general election soon.

If I find anymore information on Seanad candidates I'll post here. Any news on TCD seats?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 15:46author address author phone

I hope the following catagorisation helps make up your mind.

Fianna Fáil/ "FF gene pool"
Mark Connolly
Liam Crowley
John Hillery
Rónán Mullen

Fine Gael / "FG gene pool"
John Kennedy
Linda O'Shea Farron
Daniel Sullivan

Single Issue*
Mark Garavan (conservative wing of Shell2Sea)
Dáithí Mac Cartaigh (Conradh na Gaeilge president)
Martina Lowe (Disability issues)
Liam Ó Gogáin (Fathers' Rights)
Brendan Price (Irish Seal Sanctuary)

Teachers' Unions
Paddy Healy (TUI & IFUT)
Bernadine O'Sullivan (ASTI)
Senator Joe O'Toole (INTO)

Green Party
Martin Hogan

Labour Party
Senator Brendan Ryan

Valerie Bresnihan
Oonagh Monahan
Senator Fergal Quinn

No information*
Bernie O’Callaghan
Mary O’Riordan
Susan Philips

* If you find any information on these people (in particular latent party membership or former membership) please inform readers of this page.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 15:55author address author phone

He now has his own website. It looks as if he is primarily standing on a platform directed towards teachers and lecturers (thats where the concentrated votes are). But he also raises issues of:

Student Fees: The imposition of fees on postgraduate students, part-time and evening students, and those at work, is a serious discrimination against those concerned. The free fees system must be retained and extended.

Health and Social Services: The under- funding of education, health, social services and other provision for human need at a time of huge current budget surpluses is indefensible.

Among Paddys individual sponsors are:

Mr Tim O’Meara, President of TUI, St Enda’s Community School, Limerick

Dr Joe Brady, President of IFUT, Head, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin (UCD)

Professor Kathleen Lynch, Professor of Equality Studies, University College Dublin (UCD)

Professor Declan Kiberd, Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature, University College Dublin (UCD)

Mr Eddie Conlon, Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)

Related Link:
author by UCD graduatepublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 16:06author address author phone

"Dr Joe Brady, President of IFUT, Head, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin (UCD)"

I would hope that Joe Brady's endorcement is an "ex-officio" endorcement as head of IFUT in UCD. Joe Brady is a key part of the imposition of the business model of education in UCD when he dreamt up semesterisation & modularisation plans.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 16:10author address author phone

I reckon Brady is doing it in his role of IFUT President. Heres what PH has to say about the new managerial style:

Defend Collegiality!
The ethos of professional commitment and collegial collaboration is central to a successful education system. Recent government proposals and initiatives are threatening to undermine this ethos at primary, secondary and third level by the imposition of managerial systems linked to business models. This must be firmly resisted.

author by UCD graduatepublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 20:14author address author phone

I'd say so. Joe Brady is IFUT pres in UCD therefore will endorse Paddy Healy publically. I'd say Paddy is genuine in his opposition to pro-capitalist "managerial" style that is running Irish 3rd level education.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 13:52author address author phone

Green Party candidate for the National University constituency is publicly endorsed by a nephew of corrupt Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Charles Haughey. Sean O'Connor is listed as one of Martin Hogan's backers. O'Connor is a candidate for the Seanad in the University of Dublin constituency. Among Hogan's other backers is Sr. Majella McCarron of a Roman Catholic order called Our Lady of Apostles.

Green Politics is Clean Politics??? Greens are already in bed with some of the most corrupt elements of Irish politics.

author by teddypublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 15:38author address author phone

I know these things often run in families ,but you can't say that somebody is corrupt just because he's Haughey's nephew .

author by BApublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 18:54author address author phone

John Kennedy claims on his webpage to be officially backed by Fine Gael as well as YFG. This claim may cut across fellow-FG members/sympathisers running in the election such as Daniel Sullivan and Linda O'Shea-Farron.

author by Anniepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:54author address author phone

Does Bachelor of Arts believe that just because a candidate is affiliated with a political party that they are therefore more capable of voting on or understanding issues? I think it should be quite obvious that membership of a party doesn't indicate competence or increased mental faculties.

I believe Tina Lowe's primary objective of improving the rights or situation of those who are disabled and/or more marginalised in our society is a fantastic platform.

I really don't think that the issue is highlighted or dealt with enough currently and the barriers to education and training in this country for people with disabilities are still, unfortunately, huge. The sooner there is someone in a position to highlight and bring about changes in this country the better and I believe that Miss Lowe has the ability to bring about or begin bringing about these changes.

I do not have an NUI vote as I am a graduate from another university, yet I have read Miss Lowe's website and I have heard her speak at President McAleese's lecture in UCD on June 8th and I firmly believe that she would do a good job in all aspects of her role as a Seanad representative for the NUI constituency.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:21author address author phone

Tina Lowe may not be in a party (?). Indeed, she has a platform and fair play to her for that. I don't agree with single-issue politics. Remember if elected Tina Lowe will be a member of Parliament that will have powers over education, health, foreign affairs, economy, privatisation, workers rights, environment, local government, etc. So she will not be getting my vote until she outlines her position on a range of issues.

My point is that I think that many of the "independent" candidates are far from that. They are in reality party "sleepers" or "gene pool" indepedents. When elected these "independents" will be voting alongside their political party on legislation. I remember in college you would get people running for SU positions without declaring their party alliegence or cynically "resigning" from their party. To be honest if you run for National Parliament you should be open about your party. I look forward to the day when parties openly nominate candidates to TCD and NUI seats.

author by Anniepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 13:48author address author phone

Tina Lowe's current job is in the area of education and training, employment and workers' rights, so claiming she has no concerns about such issues is incorrect. Her background is in the area of higher education and teaching.

She does have and to the best of my knowledge has never had any affiliation with a political party.

It might serve you well to find out a little more about the candidates before making statements about the issues they are concerned with or their abilities.

author by Mcpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:13author address author phone

The basis of a democracy is "one man - one vote". What does that say about the Seanad? Its members will influence legislation but yet are elected by vested interest groups while many are excluded from voting. It is a vestige of British rule where the educated and the rich think it better not to allow the 'commoner' too much say in his own affairs. Noblesse oblige!

Related Link:
author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 15:15author address author phone

I received a leaflet from Mark Garavan in the post today. In it he downplays his support for Shell to Sea. In fact, he only says he was a spokesperson for Rossport 5 in 2005 when they were in prison. This is sidelining Shell2Sea big time. He's portraying himself as some kind of solicitor/advocate/representative who was a spokesperson. Garavan aslo says he is neither "left or right" and says he beleives in a "regualted free market". Grab the bargepole I don't want it to touch him!!

Annie, I visited Tina's website and it was poor on issues other than her main one. I've no problem with independents at all. I do have a problem with people running for National Parliament without telling us their general political philosophy and/or party membership that will inform their voting in the coming 5 years. I've no person problem with Tina Lowe. I only reported what I saw. By all means please do engage in a debate and try to convince people to support her. That's what Indymedia is here for.

The Seanad is undemocratic and elitist enough without the mistruths and half-truths of candidates.

author by Updatepublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:30author address author phone

BA (and others), it might be worth emailing candidates with your questions and post the responses. Or maybe direct the candidates to this (and to BA's TCD 'Opinion & Analysis' discussion) to add their positions and answer questions.
I'll be doing it and will post whatever responses I get here.

author by Pat - cork citypublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 17:33author address author phone

Mark Connolly is a Strong Fianna Fail Supporter. He will get a lot of Support in Cork as a large number of graduates hail from the Second City . He is the right man Supporting the right Party! He ll get my no 1.

author by Martin - Seanad Newspublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 18:09author address author phone

Only two candidates from Cork . Mark Connolly the big man with the hat who is a big Fianna Fail supporter and Brendan Ryan Labour Supporter. Connolly who works in Financial services in Cork should get some of that bunch voting for him along with a lot of support from the self employed and professionals. His tax reduction proposals will catch their eye. Ryan on the other hand should get a lot of support from the left. Two total opposites if you ask me.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:58author address author phone

I have made communication with candidates. Only one has replied. Bernadine O'Sullivan. I'm surprised as this election is unlike others where you can canvass communities - I expected a better online profile from them.

author by Pissed off ASTI memberpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 15:28author address author phone

On her campaign website Bernadine O'Sullivan has welcomed the formation of the new FF-Green-PD government. She's lost my vote. I'm now plumping for Paddy Healy - no transfer to FF supporters.

Here is the text from her site:
"The formation of a new government in a democratic society is to be welcomed. In recent years many of our political leaders as well as those working at grassroots level in our schools and communities have emphasised that Ireland is a society not just an economy.

It is in the implemention of policies by government that will ensure that a balance is maintained between social and economic development. The additional 350 million for education is a small step in redressing the fact that we come 29 out of 30 O.E.C.D countries in terms of education funding. Measures to improve our enviornment will be cost effective in the long run."

author by FGwatchpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 16:24author address author phone

I think I worked out why Daniel Sullivan will not be getting FG endorsement in NUI election. He came LAST in 2004 local elections in Artane. Sullivan won 278 votes in Artane compared to his running-mate's 2594. His running mate is now a TD (Terence Flanagan) and there is little chance that Sullivan will be co-opted to that seat which is the norm for many party colleagues. I reckon that even with an electorate 4 times bigger Sullivan won't get more than 278.

author by Updaterpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 16:50author address author phone

"Feargal Quinn: owner of Superquinn supermarkets. Sitting Senator."


author by Unicorn2publication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 20:57author address author phone

I have been getting some peculiar things through the letterbox since I goot myself on the register for the NUI panel. The latest showed one of the candidates dressed as Noah (I think) complete with ark in the background. I'll take a picture of it an post it when I get the chance...

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 00:55author address author phone

BA I've been waiting patiently by my inbox and I've gotten nothing from you regarding any communication about the election.

As for the crack team at FGWatch and 2004 locals, yes thems the facts. Odd that you seem to think this is news or some big revelation, other people can use google and too you know. I ran in an election and didn't get elected. Are you suggesting that the candidates that many of the contributors to indymedia spend their time cheerleading for should shut up shop and leave electoral politics because they have had dismal elections at some point?

As for the artane co-option it was held was a week and a half ago and deputy Terence Flanagan's brother was selected. And that is quite common or the norm as you say. I didn't contest it because I'm running in this.

author by Mistyfiedpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 21:01author address author phone

Unicorn2, You don't need to post a picture of 'Noah', as he can be found on He's our last hope to save us from drowning, as there's fat chance of the ultra-compromised Green Party doing that. Could be worth a vote.

author by Mistyfiedpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 21:18author address author phone

I'd like to point out that Brendan Price is far from being a single issue candidate. He is an independent eco-advocate with no party affiliations and his issues of concern range from fisheries, the militarisation of Europe to disabilities and Seanad reform. Again, check out his website below.

Related Link:
author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 14:55author address author phone

Brendan Price is an honourable man. I received his leaflet and it makes good points. Personally I'd like to know what his views are on Greens in government (I'll look at his site again). To be honest I think his Noah's Ark gimmick is a bit eccentric.

I have communicated with you Dan. Just I didn't call myself "Bachelor of arts" (that's my Indymedia name!)

My predictions are:
I think Joe O'Toole, Brendan Ryan, Fergal Quinn, Bernadine O'Sullivan, Paddy Healy, Brendan Price & Martin Hogan are the main players in this election. The rest will not feature seriously (except in transfers.)

I think that Fergal Quinn is vulnerable to loosing a seat. His campaign is very lacklustre. But transfer from a large number of small right-wing candidates may help him if he gets a decent 1st preference vote. There is some disquiet in the INTO about Joe O'Toole taking them for granted and his vote from teachers may be down. But he may well keep up his vote due to his profile from being a sitting Senator. Bernadine O'Sullivan will poll well, but unlikely to get the same high 1st preference she had last time just after Teachers strike. Many non-teachers see her emphasis on teachers as off-putting, transfers may be her downfall or her saving. Paddy Healy will do very well due to his more coherent position on teachers issues and on his broader platform that will be supported by most left-wing voters. If O'Sullivan is eliminated Healy may benefit greatly and even take a seat. Brendan Ryan of Labour has had a declining vote in the last election. His literature and website has been somewhat rambling and his support base may be undermined by candidates such as Healy & Hogan. It cannot be ruled out that Ryan looses his seat. Martin Hogan of the Green Party may gain from the attention that his party has been getting. Hogan may do well on transfers. The electorate is disproportionatly middle class meaning that these Green voters may even see government as a good thing. Finally, Brendan Price has a long record in this constituency and will score well in votes, whether or not it is enough to win is hard to tell.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 15:30author address author phone

I haven't received any questions by email as you seem to be indicating. It could have gotten lost but in any case I've never received anything.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 17:02author address author phone

A problem for Joe O'Toole more so that the ASTI and TUI candidates is that more recent primary teaching gradates from St. Pat's and Mary I can't vote because they get DCU and UL degrees now. A pity he didn't think to do something about it when he had the chance.

I think the large field will reduce the lead the main trio will have but I find it hard to see past them for the top 3 positions on the first count. I'm surprised that you don't count valerie bresnihan in your 7 given that she was last person to be eliminated or are you just letting your bias for union reps opposed to benchmarking blind you?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 18:20author address author phone

You are right that Bresnihan will do well. She already has a large number of voters in last election and will do well. I did not include her as I don't think she will be in with a real chance of taking a seat. Fair point, maybe I should have included her alongside Brendan Price and Hogan as an outsider. I do think that the ASTI and the TUI/IFUT candidates have better chance as they actually have a record with a significant section of the NUI electorate. Being in a trade union with a graduate membership gives a massive advantage to these candidates. It also gives you resources and campaigners. If I were to call it I would say that it will be Quinn, O'Toole, Ryan (or possibly O'Sullivan or Healy taking his seat.). Price, Hogan and Bresnihan will do well and last long in count but won't win. Among all the other candidates some will score decent enough (circa 1000) and some will do very badly.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 22:35author address author phone

I agree that membership of a large union does indeed appear to confer considerable advantages. And as we can see from Bernadine O'Sullivan in 2002 all the better if the union can find it in its heart or rather wallet to bankroll her campaign to the tune of over €8,000.

Not that I see the purpose in this instance of electing someone simply because they are a teacher, after all the Oireachtas as it currently stands could hardly be said to be proportionately under-represented when it comes to members of the teaching professional.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 23:54author address author phone

I think that Dan has identified the limits of Bernadine O'Sullivan. Her campaign is very limited to an appeal to teachers. She does not have any wider appeal. In fact I know a few teachers that will not be voting for her for this reason. Only the weirdest of weirdo teachers only see themselves as teachers. Most are regular people with views on all sorts of issues that O'Sullivan does not address. In the last election O'Sullivan was very relevant to a larger number of teachers due to the teachers strike. I think left-wing teachers will find Paddy Healy more attractive this time as he's got a Union record and has a wider world view than weirdo boasting about being a teacher (O'Sullivan's blackboard image on her website makes me ill!!). O'Sullivan will be undermined by Healy.

I don't think there is anything wrong with having "backers" that are trade unions or ordinary punters that want to advance a particular point of view. I personally see no merit in being an independent. Bernadine O'Sullivan may have got 8k in last election, but it's from a trade union and raised from ordinary members donating... unlike the millions that FG spent on last election raised from corporate interests that expect something in return!

author by Rachel Co Kerry - FF supporter Co Kerrypublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 13:54author address author phone

Mark Connolly is doing his best for Munster among a large field of Candidates. His policies are very good.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 15:08author address author phone

BA, you suggested I would be FG gene which is a description that I'm not going to argue with. My political background is in FG and the Green party. I was also previously a member of the Green Party, but am now a member of FG. I've not hidden that fact at all. So if you are suggesting that my political viewpoint is broadly in accordance with those parties then yes it is. But where have i been dishonest?

I decided to run last autumn in order to get the issue of extending the franchise an airing in this election. It is hardly a natural opportunistic issue to champion amongst an electorate that aren't directly affected by it, now is it?.

I note you've still not retracted the insinuation that I was being cynical in wanting a specific issue highlighted relation to disabled adults. You are the one who has been dishonest in that description.

Rachel, what is it that Mark Connolly is doing for Munster exactly? His best to pretend to have the backing of the FF organisation when he doesn't?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 17:08author address author phone

How the hell is Mark Connolly "doing his best for Munster". It's one of the most meaningless statements that I've seen. FFers come out with that rubbish regularly during election camapigns. "Looking out for XX"... "Delivering for XX".... "Doing his best for XX". Rachel please actually tell us what Mark's policies are?

author by Lady Wicklowpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 22:28author address author phone

Susan Philips's family own Ballyfree Chickens. This is a large food business based in Wicklow.

author by Mistyfiedpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 22:43author address author phone

Brendan Price's view on the Green Party is that due to their current political arrangements they would have to come with a government health warning!

author by Lisapublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 13:02author address author phone

For someone claiming to have disability issues at the heart of his campaign Dan Sullivan's attitude and use of disparaging language is quite disappointing and offensive.

As an individual with a disability, I sincerely hope that someone who uses the word "handicapped" when describing a disability is not elected to the Seanad.

People with disabilities in this country could do without that kind of attitude in someone claiming to represent us.

author by PO - Nonepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 14:19author address author phone

Bernie O'Callaghan is FF gene pool. Clue is in his flyer, where he claims to be reserve MEP for North/ west constituency. A quick dart to the European Parliament Irish site finds him on the FF list.

Related Link:
author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 16:17author address author phone

If you're going to make claims about what people said then at least have the decency to reference it

Folks, feel free to read the link below

I used the term in reference to the name of an organisation as it had been called, not in my own terminology throughout my post.

Given that you appear to be the same person commenting as "Annie" on might I suggest that people draw their own conclusions about the truth or otherwise of the rest of your comments.

author by Phil Robert - Irish Citizen and member of ASTIpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 17:14author address author phone

I am reluctant to concur with the positive accurate statements submitted by Tim Nelligan as I believe that the expression of negative comments and misinformation on the part of so many contributors with regard to Bernadine O'Sullivan, must signify that their preferred candidate is on the ropes and that she in fact, has a good chance of winning a seat. Why am I giving my number one vote to Bernadine? Simple. I am interested in a quality public service and at my age, I am certainly interested in a decent pension and do not relish the thought after years of public service of being a member of the new poor. I have voted in the past for Joe O'Toole in the erroneous belief that he would represent public servants. Unfortunately for me and my likes, Mr O'Toole was on the national airwaves on a regular basis assuring all public servants that benchmarking was a once off and he stated categorically that it was not performance related pay. Those of us who queue at the ATM at midnight anxiously awaiting our next salary lodgement say a prayer for Joe O'Toole.
As we are all aware, it is very difficult to unseat a sitting senator. For that reason, I regret that Paddy Healy is running in the senate elections this time out as he and Bernadine are great friends, stand for similar, though not identical policies, and his entry may split the vote which may benefit other less like-minded candidates.
Bernadine has a higher public profile and she has a proven track record. When she was shouting from the roof tops that benchmarking would worsen our working conditions and our pension entitlements, many in the ASTI, TUI, INTO and public service unions and indeed ICTU maligned her. Now in hindsight, can any public servant stand up and argue that she was incorrect?
She almost succeeeded in getting a seat in the last senate elections. We public servants need someone well informed, with tenacity of purpose to fight our corner in the Senate. Someone who is not afraid to stand up and be counted on our behalf. I believe that Bernadine is that person.

We have worked long and hard and I believe we have earned a decent pension. As far as I am concerned, the name Bernadine O'Sullivan and pensions are synonymous. I am writing this in a strictly personal capacity as an Irish citizen. I will exercise my vote and urge others to do likewise although I have to add that I also think the election process of senators is elitist and undemocratic and I would like to see it reformed.

author by Seamus Smith - ASTI memberpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 18:39author address author phone

I wish to take issue with Phil's posting in support of Bernadine O'Sullivan. I am a member of the ASTI in South East Dublin. I will not vote for Bernadine O'Sullivan. I am giving my #1 vote to Paddy Healy and I will not transfer to her. I am totally opposed to benchmarking and the way in which the establishment are harnessing the Trade Union movement. The Unions were set up to fight on our behalf not do cosy deals with the Government and the employers. Joe O'Toole personifies the rotten Trade Union leaders in this State and needs to be taught a lesson - so to speak!

I supported O'Sullivan in the last election. She played a prominant role in a very important struggle for teachers. But in this election there O'Sullivan's website reported that she welcomed the Green / FF deal on education. She also welcomed the formation of the government. This shows that she has some kind of soft spot for their "democracy". In my opinion there is no such thing as democracy in Dáil and Seanad Eireann! That posting on her site indicated that if elected she may well be caught up in the pro-establishment athmosphere of the Oireachtas and sell us out.

A colleague of mine was in communication with her and she has made no reply about questions on 1. doing a 'deal' with the government to pass legistation if they loose their Seanad majority (this could happen if PD or Greens leave govt as FF have lost cllrs in 2004). or 2. taking only the average wage of an ASTI member. So what we may have in O'Sullivan is a Senator that may do a 'deal' and will be living the lifestyle of a establishment politicians and she may quickly forget her ASTI members just as O'Toole has forgotten about INTO. I look forward to an O'Sullivan supporter answering these questions.

I'm also voting for Paddy Healy as he appears to have a more rounded out programme. He has a strong record on pensions and is a genuine left-winger in the workers' movement. He does not limit himself to Secondary education (I also found Bernadine's over-pride on being a teacher as off-putting). I want to elect a member of Parliament with a wider view on the world. What's Bernadine's position on Foreign Affairs and the Economy?

author by Seamus Smith - ASTI memberpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 18:45author address author phone

PS - I'm not an activist in a Paddy Healy campaign. I'm only expressing my views. So you should not vent anger in his direction. For all I know he may well be advocating a #2 for O'Sullivan.

author by Tim Nelligan - ASTI Central Executivepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 20:45author address author phone

I Don't know why.... but someone removed this earlier today, so here it is again!

"pi**ed-off ASTI member", "Bachelor of Arts" and Dan Sullivan are factually incorrect in their posts about Bernadine O'Sullivan. 1) Bernadine is not now, nor has she ever been a supporter/member of any political party, so any allegation that she supports Fianna Fail or any other party is false. The statement welcoming the formation of "a new Government" is in support of our democracy generally and not in support of any particular party. 2) Bernadine did not receive €8000 from the ASTI towards her election campaign in 2002; she received €2450 in 2002 from the ASTI, as per the rules set out by the Standards in Public Office. 3) Bernadine is very far from being, simply, a "teachers' candidate"; her platform is "Quality Public Services", with a very strong emphasis on the integrity of pensions. Her web site addresses parents, patients, Health care Professionals, Teachers and Lecturers, Business Professionals, Engineers/Architects/Lawyers, Public/Civil Servants(including Gardai) and Pensioners. Bernadine O'Sullivan was the first person, seven years ago, to caution us about the commodification of health and education and the erosion of pensions and all of this can be verified through official channels including Bernadine's articles published in The Sunday Business Post, The Irish Times and elsewhere. 4) I would urge Dan, BA and P** ASTI to check their facts, in accordance with Indy media editorial rules, before posting, instead of using this forum to publish erroneous allegations against a legitimately endorsed candidate during an election campaign.

Related Link:
author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:19author address author phone

I was presuming that the union and its membership were the doners. If the ASTI only gave her €2,000 directly who donated the rest?

FORMER ASTI president Bernadine O'Sullivan received the highest donations, totalling over €8,867, in her unsuccessful bid to get elected to the Seanad.

Figures released yesterday by the Standards in Public Office Commission showed that €33,809 was disclosed by unsuccessful candidates at the Seanad elections.

Ms O'Sullivan was pipped for the third seat in the National University of Ireland constituency by outgoing Senator Joe O'Toole.

The figures show that the ASTI gave donations of around €25,000 split between candidates for both the Dail and the Seanad. Ms O'Sullivan received over €2,000 in cash from the union as did independent Senate candidate David Martin.

Of 152 candidates contesting the election, 103 were unsuccessful. They were required to disclose donations in excess of €634.87.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 13:11author address author phone

I would also note the explicit reference in the article above to the €2,000 being in cash which would suggest that she may also have received BIK from the ASTI which would being included in her €8K total. For example if the ASTI did the printing for her campaign that could well have exceeded the value of the €2,000 in cash and also posting literature to all ASTI members would also have to counted. I would surmise that those might well be where the rest of her donations came from, and they would have been from the ASTI. Just not in cold hard cash.

All I've suggested is that her candidacy would have less resonance now compared to 2002 as the ASTI strike around that time gave her more of a profile. That is harder to do now. That's just a fact of life.

author by Khalidpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 13:13author address author phone

There is absolutely nothing wrong with recieveing donations from trade unions. I have to defend O'Sullivan on that one. Trade unions are democratic organisations of working people. They are there to defend the interests of their members and the working class in general.

In doing this it is essential not just to fight on a workplace and industry level, it is also essential that the interests of the trade union movement are given a political expression also. It is therefore absolutely correct that unions are allowed fund candidates or parties that represent their interests. Although in saying this I would take issue with unions funding the Labour Party who are in reality a party of big business, never the less it is important that unions have the right to make political donations.

To say that it is undemocratic is wrong. What is undemocratic is the way the property developers, banks, health profiteers and big business in general have establishment politicians and parties in their pockets by bank rolling them. Big business represnts a tiny tiny section of the population but they control the political establishment. The trade union movement is a democratic movement that has hundreds of thousends of members. To compare the two is completely wrong.

As for O'Sullivan, if i had a vote in this election I would not vote for her. She has welcomed the formation of a FF/PD/Green government, to say she is 'welcoming the formation of a govt in a democracy' is complete rubbish. Why would she welcome this government if she does not support it? I don't support this government, so I'm not going to welcome it being formed!

In this statement she also welcomed soem extra spending on education, fair enough, but she did not at the same time point out the disasterous record of this government, she just cheered them on!

Also she is unclear on where she would stand should the government be in a minority in the Senate. Would she do a deal with Bertie?

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 14:15author address author phone

I've merely highlighted the fact that the details only came out after the election had happened, that was a fair chunk of money and that irrespective of being a member of the union doesn't bind her to follow union policy once elected.

I think that Bernadine must have something of a tender spot about the issue of finances and her current as opposed to previous relationship to the ASTI.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 14:35author address author phone

Dan what is wrong with being accountable to a party or a Trades Union? If you are elected on a certain platform then you should be held to account for it. Last week we saw indepedenents such as Finian McGrath and Michael Lowry go against what their voters wanted. At least the Greens had to justify themselves for their sell-out to their members. Dan if you are elected you'll be a free agent doing whatever you like with no reference to us.

I agree with Khalid. I've no problem with Union political donations to genuine representatives (ie not Labour Party or Joe O'Toole).

I received Bernie O'Callaghan's letter today. Obvious he's a FFer without looking up MEP replacement list. It was typical FF leaflet: Green colour, Personalised (ie playing on his own personal achievements), little or no reference to Party, List of non-relevant issues that he does not say a lot about. Classic Fianna Fáil. Go back to your bin and you'll see all their candidates had similar style in Dáil election.

I also received Brendan Ryan's . Ryan again continues his rambling eccentric liberal style in his leaflet. Who knows, it must work! No word from Feargal Quinn - as voting papers are out very very soon he's leaving it late. He may be vulnerable. So far comparing leaflets Paddy Healy is scoring well (in my opinion).

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 15:35author address author phone

not that she would be. Simply giving her a few quid doesn't mean that she is accountable to the ASTI or its membership at all, that is the point I was making. In effect what we have are people saying vote for me I'm in the union but who aren't accountable to the membership in any way, shape or form.

There is something very patronising to teachers about this whole ASTI/TUI/INTO head count effort that a few of the candidates or the supporters are involved in. It won't matter a damn which union endorsed candidate gets the higher vote when it comes to any future partnership negotiations one way or the other. I have no issue with someone voting for their union endorsed candidate at some point on the ballot in order to make sure they get a vote but to do so as your No.1 simply because you're a teacher and a member of the union is brain dead. If you're doing it for other reasons fair enough but if you're doing it just because the higher ups told you to....well.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 15:58author address author phone

I think it's very patronising of you to think that ASTI, TUI, INTO and IFUT members are voting in a "brain dead" way by backing their union's candidate. The reality is that Joe O'Toole, Bernadine O'Sullivan and Paddy Healy are known for their work in the union and their positions on various matters. People active in these unions will know these people well. The teachers' unions have a 100% graduate membership and they make up a substantial part of the NUI and TCD electorates. One person told me that about 15,000 teachers have a vote in the Seanad elections. Personally I'm not a Teacher but Paddy Healy has been recommended to me by a person that knows him from elsewhere in the Workers' movement for his wider political views.

Dan, what do you suggest? People vote for candidates that they hear of first time in some stupid postal flyer? Of the 24 NUI candidates most of them have no record and no priminance. The only "prominant" people are the 3 sitting Senators, Bernadine O'Sullivan, Brendan Price and Paddy Healy. Who the hell is John Kennedy, Tina Lowe, Dan Sullivan, Bernie O'Callaghan, Liam Cowley, Mark Connolly, et al? What have they ever seriously contributed to politics?

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 21, 2007 16:05author address author phone

I said "I have no issue with someone voting for their union endorsed candidate at some point on the ballot in order to make sure they get a vote but to do so as your No.1 simply because you're a teacher and a member of the union is brain dead. If you're doing it for other reasons fair enough but if you're doing it just because the higher ups told you to....well."

I did not say as you implied "I think it's very patronising of you to think that ASTI, TUI, INTO and IFUT members are voting in a "brain dead" way by backing their union's candidate."

If you can't see what the difference is between the two statements then...well...sure what any person do.

i have to say, that this interesting practice of multiple people appearing to pretend to be the same person while other individuals like Lisa/Annie pretend to be multiple people shows up the lack of interest in any genuine debate.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:42author address author phone

I opened the front door this morning to find a phone bill and 10 new election leaflets. Here is an analysis of their claims, promises, policies, etc.

Dr. John Hillery. Hillery's leaflet carries the endorsement of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. In fact the front of his literature looks very Ahernesque. He's with young people talking. Very odd lokkgin young people - what teenager would ever dress in a suit? The leaflet has very little policies. It's in form of a letter telling about his time in medical politics and how he's a former President's son.

Dr. Valerie Bresnihan. Bresnihan's leaflet does not cover many policies either. She concentrates on personal endorsements, which include arch-capitalist Peter Sutherland! The leaflet also smacks of patronising tone when it points out that it's been 30 years since a woman was elected in the constituency. I spotted one bloomer. An endorsement by former UCC President Michael Murphy recommends Bresnihan for a position in the NUI Senate (that's a body within NUI elected by graduates and is not Seanad Éireann).

Susan Philips. She points to her time as an indepenent Councillor in Wicklow and her academic record in UCD. In a section on "The Family" she states"the preferred environment for the upbringing of children is where the father, mother and children are together". She then (in bold print) says "Susan is committed to speaking for the rights of the unborn".

Rónán Mulllen Mullen has the typical FF design of manifesto. Unlike many candidates he does however outline his policies on education, criminal justice, Irish language and climate change. He opposes tax individualisation. In a section on "Dignity of the person" Mullen states his opposition to embryo stem cell research. Mullen is likely to be a serious vote getter from the conservative right.

Feargal Quinn . His literature is quiet poor. He does not have the detail of many of the other candidates. Quinn's attacks the main parties for not standing up on the question of "national compeditivness" (ie he wants to stop pay increases!). He says over-regulation can undermine the economy (ie he wants less tax and labour regulations on profit hungry bosses).

Shane Brodbin Brodbin's leaflet highlights some key policies but not many. On he calls for tax incentives and tax benefits to deliver services. He never once calls for state investment in provision of this service. His other areas of concern are environment and health. On these there is a brief and bizarre highlighting of one or two issues. I've more questions than answers on these topics!

Dan Sullivan. Sulivan has been a contributor to this page. So we already know much of his views. Sullivan's main issue is Seanad reform. He asks voters to give him their No. 1 and then transfer. This tactic may put him ahead of a few of the smaller candidates. He briefly mentions disability, life-long learning and criminal justice.

Linda O'Shea Farren. O'Shea-Farren has a poor leaflet in my opinion. She lists a load of one-liner problems and gives no solutions. On the other side is a list of personal achievements. She says she's a young voice despite being in UCC in the 1970s! There are literally thousands of young NUI voters of post-free fees era that will laugh at this one.

Dáithí Mac Cárthaigh . MacCárthaigh outlines his "9 priorities". they are best described as populist. He supports educaion reform particularly in languages, withdrawl of the right to defend oneself if accused of a sex-crime, and tax exiles to pay tax.

Tine Lowe. Lowe, despite what her supporter said earlier in this thread, is a single issue candidate. She highlights the treatment of disabled in the State. Her work appears well researched. Figures on the scandalous number of disabled people in unemployement are highlighted.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 19:16author address author phone

what format were the various pieces of literature? I've attempted to use the web to augment the lack of space available for anything more than a sound bite or two on the standard style but I was aware that one or two of the candidates were planning to send up full size A4, and there was even one suggestion by one for an 4 page A4 leaflet.

And did they all arrive today? An Post had intended they would arrive in a staggered fashion. Or could it be that you not get out much or live on an island? only joking.

Also, reading more of the candidates I think that the race this time will be much more ...well all over the place. Last time Brendan Price kind of had the environment to himself this time there are 3 with that focus, himself, Mark Garavan and Martin Hogan. I think they will poll more in total than Brendan did himself but it could leave them vulnerable.

I had thought that Liam Crowley of Killorglin was the official FF candidate in a similar vein to Jim O'Callaghan last time, but now we have Hillery, Crowley and Connolly. Which could confuse the soldiers of destiny.

And Mullen, Brodbin, and Philips are the multiple choice for the religious right.

Then we have one for each of the three teachers unions, two anti-benchmarking and one allegedly in favour.

And yes I suppose I would have to admit you could say that there are three FG gene poolers. And the list goes on.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 17:57author address author phone

I got them staggered, then on Friday I got 10 together, this morning I got about 4 together. Some of the leaflets are A4 format folded over and with a sticker/glue holding it down into the format your one came in.

I agree with you Dan. I had a look over all the leaflets and to be honest I think it will be very confusing. They all claim some credit on matters like Disability and Environment. Among the teaching candidates there is also mention of pensions (however I think teachers will spot to spoofer as they would be well-up on that questions). The FFers are all very similar and offer nothing different except which personality is endorsing them. The 24 candidates may indeed reduce the turnout? The Political Parties should hold nominating conventions in the same way as Dáil elections and stop all that waste of paper coming in my door!

In the context of 24 candidates a clear party label on Ryan, Hogan and Kennedy may help them, as will Hillery's Bertie Ahern endorsement. The Union nominations from TUI, IFUT, ASTI and INTO will also assist breaking those candidates from the pack.

Personally, I'm voting #1 for Paddy Healy. Paddy is a left-wing Trade Unionist that has a sound record on opposing benchmarking within the TUI and he was elected as President against a strong right-wing opposition in the union. Paddy Healy was a member of the League for a Workers Republic group back in the 70s and 80s.

author by Unicorn2publication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 23:47author address author phone

I still think this is pretty weird. Makes a change from the usual shot of the candidate in a suit I suppose, and on the basis that you should always vote for the most eccentric (if we don't- who will?) then I guess I know who will be getting my number one...


author by Mariannepublication date Sat Jun 23, 2007 23:47author address author phone

I find Martin Hogan's policies commendable. However, as he blames past governments led by Fianna Fail for problems such as the Corrib Gas situation and the M3 through Tara fiasco, and he is being endorsed by the Green Party who are endorsing Fianna Fail, his position is tainted. As far as I'm concerned he is compromised and I'd rather vote for an independent environmental campaigner such as Brendan Price or Mark Garavan. As an environmentalist, I'd give my No. 1 and 2 to them and 'nul point' to Martin.

author by Dubpublication date Sun Jun 24, 2007 13:54author address author phone

Can I ask you to vote for Paddy Healy. (at the very least give him a No 2.) Paddy is a person also with sound environmental policies and comes from the left of the trade union movement. Paddy has always opposed the cosy partnership deals with the government and believes that Unions should campaign on issues like Higher pay, pensions, Rossport, privatisation, etc. I think that Brendan Price is a very honourable man and does stand up for what he believes in. I remember his time in Dublin Zoo when he stood up against mistreatment of animals. As one person said to me- "At lest he's not only looking out for himself unlike most of the rest". When it comes to Garavan and Hogan the phrase "there is something of the right about them" comes to my mind. Mark Garavan has been consistently against any militant action in Rossport. He is one of the most conservative people in Shell2Sea. My criticism of Martin Hogan begins and ends with his support for the Government.

Vote #1 Paddy HEALY. a step towards building a left alternative on workers rights & environment in the trade unions & communities.

author by Who?publication date Sun Jun 24, 2007 15:10author address author phone

Sounds likeHealy is a good man. Garavan the other. Garavan would benmore of a bet as he has well represented the Mayo and Irish in the Oil sga.
Fergal Quinn, the Quinnsworth/Pennys former owner, Is he, a 1st cousin of the Rory Quinn Labour.and that Footballer Ni. Someone said he is.Should think Tasiseach will automatically put him in then .

author by Dub - Shell2Sea supporterpublication date Sun Jun 24, 2007 15:27author address author phone

Garavan was consistently on the right-wing of that camapign. He indeed was the spokeperson and he did get much of the message across to the media and wider public while the 5 where in jail. But the bloke has consistently argued against militant ation at the site. If he becomes a Senator he will use his inflated position in the Shell2Sea campaing to boost the more conservative wing. It would by no means be a positive thing if Garavan is elected. In Garavan's literature for this election he completely downplays his role in Shell2Sea. He gives it only a fleeting reference. reading his literature you would come to the conclusion that Garavan was some kind of spokesman for hire. He does not call for Shell to be nationalised or for Trade Union and Community action to defeat Shell.


author by Dubpublication date Sun Jun 24, 2007 15:30author address author phone

I also note that the SWP have given fleeting positive references to Mark Garavan and Bernadine O'Sullivan in their newspaper. Now that they've ditched socialism and class politics are they now trying to give these opportunists left-cover? Or will they explicitly endorse Paddy Healy No. 1?

author by Siobhánpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 00:27author address author phone

An English paper today pointed out that under the new draft EU Treaty, energy strategy across the region could be centralised. Does this mean that we could be forced to use nuclear energy? Do any of the Seanad candidates have a position on the EU constitution/treaty? (I haven't seen all my flyers yet as they're at my parents' house.)

author by Tadhgpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 00:50author address author phone

The fact is that Mark Garavan is associated with the Shell to Sea campaign, and so his vote will be used to judge support for the campaign, whether we like it not.

Since he didn't ask anyone whether he should run, and since he is in no way a "Shell to Sea candidate" , I think he is simply being fair by not explicity waving the banner on his election literature. If he was, more people would be complaining.

While he has always been against militant actiion, he has been very clear about that, and since those are his principles he can't very well be expected to compromise them. Shell to Sea is not like a political party with a "line" that it takes on issues. It is, and always has been, a very loose network of people pooling their resources towards a common set of goals. The only thing you have to agree to is the original demands, and they don't say anything about militant action.

Martin Hogan, the other candidate most explicity involved in the campaign, has also always been an advocate of lobbying, rather than standing in front of trucks. Again he has always been clear about that, but has been prepared to come on demonstrations and was a strong advocate for boycotting Shell and Statoil when that was still a realistic option. I could be wrong but I think Martin Hogan is more supportive of the general trend towards blockading trucks, and we may see him on the Shell highway yet.

The Green Party has been very cautious about the future of the Corrib project, and at the very least we have to give them a chance. It would be poor politics to punish the Greens for going into Govt., since we don't know how things are going to pan out in relation to Corrib.

I wouldn't be a Green Party supporter, but I would be extremely surprised if they give Shell as easy a ride as Dempsey did.

Related Link:
author by Dubpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:53author address author phone

Garavan's vote will not be used to measure support of Shell2Sea. saying that is an attempt to guilt trip people into voting for a man they have grave misgivings about. For fecks sake, the vast majority of people in this country do not even have a vote. Even those entitled to vote only half register. Of those registered only about 40% vote. I think activists should run if they've a chance of getting elected but it's an ego trip otherwise. Garavan should go on Big Brother if he wants an ego trip. He's got no chance of getting elected.

It is an important point about Garavan's and Hogan's positions on Shell2Sea. If elected these people will have a higher profile in the media and indeed within the broad Shell2Sea campaign. It's important for Shell2Sea supporters [if they have a vote] to vote for a person with the correct position and the tactics they agree with. I totally oppose the conservativism of Mark Garavan (I was not even aware Hogan was involved at all). It's that type of conservativism that has held back Shell2Sea. Shell will not stop just because there is an angry letter to the Irish Times and Mark Garavan gets a few votes of Graduates. It's important point that Garavan only gives fleeting reference to his support for Shell2Sea in his material. Garavan is deliberately dipping the banner. He is being more conservative in an attempt to win votes.

Your final point Tadhg about the Greens somehow being more progressive in Government than Noel Dempsey is absolute rubbish. Gormley, Ryan and Sargent will be implementing a programme decided largely by PD/FF. Just in last week we've had EU Constitution agreed, Hospital co-location in Tallaght agreed, Tara continues despite new monuments and a GP minister, Nuclear power being prepared for... Greens are absolute sell outs. I'd never ever ever vote for a Government candidate (Martin Hogan). [if i had a Senate vote!]

Remember what Eugene V. Debbs the socialist candidate for the US Presidency in the early 20th century said: "It's better to vote for something you want and not get it than vote for something you don't want and get it." I don't want Mark Garavan or Martin 'pro-government' Hogan becoming a Senator.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 13:55author address author phone

Dub, with PR surely you would give Garavan and Hogan at higher preference than some of the other candidates (I'm guessing I would be one of those). After all, Debs wasn't working in a PR environment,

author by Dubpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 14:21author address author phone

Firstly, I don't have a vote like the vast majority of the Irish population. At a time when many of my non-Irish work colleagues don't get a vote in Dáil elections I think calls for more graduates to get a Senate vote is a farce.

Secondly, if I did I would not even give a 22nd preference to a candidate I don't support as it may be counted for them. In my book there is not a significant difference between Garavan and Hogan and the rest of the NUI right-wing candidates. I would not be arsed making distinctions between a shower of muppets playing on personality politics.

Thirdly, I certainly would never support a Fine Gael member. Dan you are in Fine Gael. I hate FG more than FF/PD. Remember the 77 people your government executed without trial in 1922? Remember the Spanish Civil War and the Blueshirts? Remember the Mother-Child scheme you stopped at request of the Roman Catholics? Remember the cut-backs in the 1980s? Remember the Tallaght strategy? You have the exact same policies as PD/FF. If I was forced on pain of death to order all candidates in preference I'd put FG last.

author by time travellerpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 17:35author address author phone

You have to register, which I think had to be done by sometime last February or March.

Sounds like you'd have trouble finding a candidate who would come up to your high standards anyway, but just imagine you could vote, or at least influence others to, who would you pick?

author by Anniepublication date Tue Jun 26, 2007 16:09author address author phone

Gosh Dan, you'd swear you thought I was out to get you or something.

My name is Lisa, but as this is an internet forum I chose a username, or "nick" as the kids call it. My friends call me Annie for reasons I won't get into, but I don't see why that's important or relevant to the points I made here or on your blog.

Your use of the word handicapped and your excuses for continuing to use it are poor.

author by ASTI memberpublication date Tue Jun 26, 2007 18:45author address author phone

ASTI Union candidate took corporate donations
Finance firms funded ASTI candidate Bernadine O'Sullivan
The disclosure of donations for Oireachtas elections in 2002 revealed that Bernadine O'Sullivan took thousands of Euro from finance firms. The ASTI candidate was known as being a radical that opposed social partnership and benchmarking. Despite this radical image it can be seen in the Standards in Public Office Commission Report on the Seanad election in 2002 that O'Sullivan took large corporate donations.

Former ASTI President O'Sullivan received €2,539.48 from Cornmarket Finance. €1,250 from BCM Hanby Wallace solicitors and €2,539.48 from ARB Underwriting. These monies were in addition to funds raised within her Trade Union, the ASTI. In 2002 David Martin the ASTI candidate for the University of Dublin constituency also received corporate donations but on a lower scale than O'Sullivan.

Questions remain about O'Sullivan's donations for the election currently underway. There are 24 candidates for the 3 seats in the National University of Ireland constituency. O'Sullivan came close last time but faces tough opposition from fellow teachers pro-partnership Senator Joe O'Toole of the TUI and anti-partnership Paddy Healy of the TUI and IFUT.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jun 27, 2007 13:58author address author phone

Where have I continued to use the word handicapped except in responding to your posts in which you've used the word? Fair enough if you favour another candidate, why not say something positive about them but don't be making up stuff claiming I'm saying things that I've not said. I'm not claiming to have exclusive ownership of the issue of disability, I've merely tried to use the opportunity of the campaign to get one particular, very specific issue that affects thousands in the spotlight before it is too late. And all you can spend your time doing is coming on here chasing me over the name an organisation had 20 years ago.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 14:57author address author phone

My ballot paper arrived yesterday. I voted No. 1 Paddy Healy and posted it off straight away. The length of the ballot paper was very confusing. I reckon there will be many non-transferable votes in later counts as I think most voters will not be making great distinctions between their 17th and 18th preference will be!! I did not transfer, Bernadine O'Sullivan's corporate donations confirmed this.

I received no election material from Mark Connolly, Oonagh Monahan, Liam Ó Gogáin. I did not receive an election policy statement from Green Party's Martin Hogan instead I got a very patronising letter telling me how to vote. Sorry Martin the very fact I have a vote in this joke election proves beyond doubt that I can read the instructions sent out from NUI. Martin Hogan may damage his prospects as it appears that with new voters he did not sent a statement of his policies.

I think the following are in with a real chance(in no particular order): Feargal Quinn, Brendan Ryan, Joe O'Toole, Bernadine O'Sullivan, Paddy Healy, Brendan Price, John Hillery. Of the rest some will perform ok: Linda O'Shea Farren, John Kennedy, Martin Hogan, Dáithí MacCarthaigh, Ronan Mullen, Valerie Bresihan. The rest will bomb to varying degrees - I suggest Liam Ó Gogáin will come last.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 15:17author address author phone

Oonagh didn't send any literature, she kind of makes great play of this on her site. It could be of some benefit to her but if people don't even know about her site to read it then it may not be much help. Unless they are told directly a lot of people don't twig stuff.

Mark seems to be running a Cork only campaign. I would rate Cork's chance better for this weekend against Kerry than of having Mark elected.

Liam sensibly has better things to prioritise for his money.

I recalled reading that 4 of the 35 candidates didn't take up the mail out. so Mark, Oonagh and Liam might be the people for the NUI. I wonder who the 1 for TCD was then.

BA, I'm sure you remembered to include the validation of identity thingy. God, it would be a really awful pity if your non-transferring were to assist me in some way wouldn't it?

author by brendanpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 15:33author address author phone

Does anyone know the ins-and-outs of voting for the NUI panel while living abroad?

How do the candidates stand on votes for Irish citizens abroad?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 15:47author address author phone

Dan, I did include the Declaration of Identity. Strangely you can get it witnessed by any punter. I expected a trip down the cop shop like a passport form. I didn't transfer as I could not be bothered making distinctions between different shades of grey. Other than Healy I really don't care who gets in. Although I do have respect for Price.

Oonagh Monahan's non-use of mailshot shows how eccentric and in-practical many of the people that orientate towards running in this toytown election actually are. The NUI Seanad election is like somekind of cranks charter where the good, bad and ugly decide to run. They do it because unlike a real election there is no media, no canvassing and you don't have to do the hard yards of community work. I think many of the candidates running are not serious about their politics, or at least have given up on being serious.

From what I can see Bresnihan, Brodbin, Connolly, Crowley, Hogan, Lowe, MacCarthaigh, Monahan, Mullen, O'Callaghan, O Gogain, O'Riordan, and O'Shea-Farren have never run in an election before or have any real record on a wider political issue. Susan Philips, in my opinion, falls into the "given up on real politics" category. Furthermore, I reckon she has delussions of gradure and she sees merit in getting a mandate from graduates. Dan Sullivan has run in an election before but does not seem to have followed it up with seeking co-option for his running-mate's council seat, or any further work or another nomination in 2009 (?) or indeed any work within his Party (?). Price, O'Sullivan, and Healy have records as campaigners or in some form of elected office. John Kennedy bizarrely seems to be a future FG candidate in a real election! John Hillery also seems to be getting the backing of his Party HQ - I would not rule out a Taoiseach nomination.

author by Citizens' Informationpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 16:19author address author phone

"Does anyone know the ins-and-outs of voting for the NUI panel while living abroad?"

So long as you are an Irish citizen over 18 and with an NUI degree you have a vote. there is no residency requirement like all other Parliamentary and council elections. If you are abroad your ballot will be delivered to your registered address by registered post. You fill out ballot and Declaration the same way and you post it back the same way. Difference is that you must include a STAMP as postage is only free within State. I'd also advise writing the name of the state in the local language at bottom of covering envelope (eg Irlande, Ierland, Irland, etc) to assist the local postal service's processing of the ballot.

As regards candidates' views, check out their website is the best advice I have.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 16:56author address author phone

BA - you've got a real bee in your bonnet about the Artane Co-option. I didn't seek it since I was already committed since last September to running in this. And if you look who did get the co-option you might have understood a bit more of the realpolitik at work in that decision. As for not doing any further work that is simply not true, however if you aren't an elected rep you might as well be relieving yourself in a dark suit for all the notice it gets. Which is why you probably won't have heard anything about it.

As for 2009 well that would be telling now wouldn't it...

author by PD - The Pd supporterspublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 17:53author address author phone

Fair play to Mark Oonagh and Liam for not sending 103,000 bits of paper which only gets to 33% of the electorate. The freepost for candidates is a complete waste of taxpayers money. So much for Price and the other eco warriors. What about the trees Brendan??? 100 s of trees lost and hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money wasted.

author by Vincent Brown show fan - Radio listenerpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 18:00author address author phone

Vincent Brown show last night was ok. Brown was tough on Liam O gogain. Smart with John Kennedy of Young FG. So what if Mark Connolly has a strong Cork accent. Sure is nt he representing Cork not the Anglo Irish types from Trinity. And yes Susan Phillips is too posh for the NUI Panel.

author by Election - munster manpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 18:08author address author phone

Fergal Quinns and Mark Connollys policies are very similar but Fergal Quinn seems to not have the same interest anymore. Connolly will get support from the businesses in the South. Connolly brought up PRSI reform for the Private sector wnich needs to be tackled to create equality with the public sector. Lastly DO WE NEED ANYMORE BORING TEACHERS IN THE SENATE! For Gods sake vote them out this time Grads of Eire.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 22:03author address author phone

he brought up the subject of PRSI cuts, and he wants local authority charges cut too for business people. I suspect he thinks that the economy can be bankrolled by sending troops into the Kingdom to get all the gold in dem dare hills.

author by Mariannepublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 22:20author address author phone

I can see how it would be hard to resist availing of the free post, considering that the media have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into paying any attention to the Seanad elections. Vincent Browne made his distaste for the whole process pretty obvious in his programme. How else is one supposed to get publicity? Also, the current sitting Senators have done nothing to reform the voters' register and ensure that mailings are not falling on moved-on or non-existant ears. Some candidates sent out more than one mailing with covering letter and A3 folded leaflet in envelope - talk about waste of paper. I know someone who got 2 A4 leaflets from supposed 'green' candidate Sean O'Connor. At least the likes of Brendan Price only sent a small, third of an A4 page leaflet.

author by Lesliepublication date Thu Jun 28, 2007 23:24author address author phone

I'm just curious to know the "rules" or procedures governing media coverage of Senators, or those running for the senate.

I'm sure everyone is aware of Mr. Hillary's evening with Vincent Browne and David Norris's contributions to the show with Ronnie Drew. I really feel that the paltry two or three minutes given by RTE to the candidates for the NUI and TCD panels last was really not enough. There was no proper discussion and it was obvious that Valerie Bresnihan exploited whatever friendship she has with Mr. Browne to get far more air time. I realise this is politics, but for some of the smaller candidates it's an incredibly unfair system.

Mr. Browne should practice some of the fairness and equality he was preaching about last night.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 29, 2007 13:24author address author phone

I would blame RTE rather than Vincent Browne specifically. God knows there is enough nonsense on the airwaves half the time that letting some few more peculiar people on Pat Kenny or Joe Duffy wouldn't have hurt.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Fri Jun 29, 2007 15:37author address author phone

"God knows there is enough nonsense on the airwaves half the time..."

Dan, you are right. The debates and policies of most NUI candidates are nonsense and would not be out of place on RTE. Joking aside, I do think that RTE's public service broadcaster status requires them to give adequate time and space to these elections. But if there was time given to them then there would be an even larger public outcry over elitism of university seats.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Fri Jun 29, 2007 16:55author address author phone

"Dan, you are right. The debates and policies of most NUI candidates are nonsense and would not be out of place on RTE. Joking aside, I do think that RTE's public service broadcaster status requires them to give adequate time and space to these elections. But if there was time given to them then there would be an even larger public outcry over elitism of university seats."

And why would "an even larger public outcry over elitism of university seats" be a bad thing?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 18:39author address author phone

It would be a good thing. Dan, you don't think that University seats should be abolished. I do. Your party's official candidate in this election John Kennedy says it should be kept and that there should be a separation between NUI and other graduates. Dan, you are not calling for the abolition of the graduate vote or indeed the abolition of the Seanad. All you want to do is extend the University franchise to include UL, DCU and ITs. I call for the abolition of the Seanad & extention of the franchise in Dáil elections to all residents regardless of nationality.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Sat Jun 30, 2007 19:57author address author phone

I want the extension of voting rights to those graduates outside the NUI and TCD as a first step to extending voting rights to all Irish citizens at home and aboard to new vocational panels. The reason I would act on the colleges first is simply that that change requires only legislation while other changes require constitutional changes. You can read more on the blog

And John Kennedy is not the spokesperson for Fine Gael on this issue and Fine Gael has not expressed a policy view one way or the other about how voting rights would be extended. If you read, you would be aware that I've had a discussion about this issue with John a couple of month back pointing out what is deficient in his proposal. I believe John is wrong and I've told him so.

author by John Kennedy - YFGpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:47author address author phone

Dan, the Fine Gael line on this is very clearly set in the General Election manifesto and that is to extend the University franchise to include UL, DCU and ITs ("All third level institution graduates"). I also support this view.

This seems to conflict with your statement: "Fine Gael has not expressed a policy view one way or the other about how voting rights would be extended."


author by Party Whippublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:24author address author phone

John are you going to make moves to get these people disciplined within the Party? I would have thought the entire point about being in a Political Party is that people with common views can be more effective by acting together. Dan Sullivan is a member of Fine Gael yet he is running in an election when there is an agreed YFG and FG candidate. Unles there is a 2 candidate strategy he's clearly against the Party competing for votes and is putting efforts into a campaign which is not an official Party campaign. Surely there is a rule against this.

Is Linda O'Shea-Farren an FG member? and if so will you be making moves to discipline her?

If not, why not?

author by west britonpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:24author address author phone

I looked through the literature before I voted, and was interested to see that Susan Philips is the only candidate for anything that I can remember who didn't include a single word of the Irish language on her leaflet. Not a word.

author by Pól d'Fhaoitepublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 13:15author address author phone

Everyone that can speak Irish can speak English. Not everyone that speaks English can speak Irish. Language is about communication, so what if she didn't have a token bit of Irish on her leaflets.

In saying this I fully support the right of minority language speakers to be able to use their language in interactions with the state as much as possible. But will this be done with a couple of words on a leaflet? No, it wont. But this is all the Gaeilgór mafia and the political establishment are happy with.

It allows them to forget about the complete mess the teaching of Irish and other languages is in in schools. It also allows them to forget about having to put forward a real strategy that sees decent jobs and workign conditions for all people in rural areas including those in Gaeltacht areas that will give people livign there the real choice about living in a rural area or moving to a city.

A cnadidate that had policies on these issues would be better for the Irish language even if they never uttered a word of the language themselves.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 14:03author address author phone

"Dan, the Fine Gael line on this is very clearly set in the General Election manifesto and that is to extend the University franchise to include UL, DCU and ITs ("All third level institution graduates"). I also support this view.

This seems to conflict with your statement: "Fine Gael has not expressed a policy view one way or the other about how voting rights would be extended."


John, I don't see how there is any conflict with the view that I've expressed. You should think about taking the time to note of the use of the word "how" in my comment. You've expressed a view on as have I about "how" this might be achieved. Neither of us is in a position to be expressing an official Fine Gael line on this. Unless you've been named frontbench spokesperson on education or electoral reform while no one was looking, I would advise you to refrain from giving me the high hat.

As for the talk of discipline I would point out that John is a YFG candidate endorsed by FG. FG did not decide to run a candidate itself and sensibly in my view decided to take the free lunch of endorsing the candidate selected by YFG.

author by Sean Mulloypublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 14:11author address author phone

"As for the talk of discipline..."

Splitting hairs there mate. the letter I got from John Kennedy had a FG logo on it. In my book that's a FG candidate. At least John Kennedy went to the Party and debated it out and got the nod. Dan and other FGers decided to do the solo run. If I were YFG or John Kennedy I'd not be happy one bit about it.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 14:31author address author phone

Fine Gael did not have a convention and JK did not debate with anyone for the FG endorsement. FG made a decision not to run anyone itself and simply endorsed the selection of YFG. Let's not over egg the pudding here.

This is the election for the NUI Seanad panel, not the NUI student's Union elections, I suspect that those people who will want more from a candidate than simply an ability to quote from a manifesto.

author by John Kennedy - YFGpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 14:51author address author phone

Seanad Candidate - NUI Panel

Press Release

Monday, 2 July 2007


John Kennedy, the Young Fine Gael and Fine Gael endorsed NUI candidate, has today criticised the lack of transparency some University Panel candidates are presenting to voters. "A large number of candidates are either members of a political party, or endorsed by a political party, and it is my view that their Independent credentials, if elected, are to be questioned", Kennedy stated.

He continued: "A situation has arisen whereby political parties are endorsing certain candidates. I believe that candidates accepting such an endorsement of their campaign should not present themselves as Independent.

Kennedy is upfront in declaring he will take a party whip if elected. "If a candidate is associated with a political party, through membership or endorsement, then that will affect their subsequent decision making in the Seanad. I am a member of Fine Gael and endorsed by Fine Gael. Therefore, stating that I will take the Fine Gael whip is the only way to convey to the electorate an honest summary of my future decision making in the Seanad".

He also stated: "I am unhappy with comments by Senators O'Toole and Ross in the Saturday (June 30) edition of the Irish Times. O'Toole described the entry of political party endorsees into the race for the University Panel seats as "nauseating". The choice about whether to elect Independents or political party endorsees is the democratic choice of the voters, not Senator O'Toole, and O'Toole should not have criticised the provision of that choice to voters. Such a suggestion damages the democratic process".

In relation to comments made by Senator Ross, he stated: "Senator Ross seemed to imply that those aligned to political parties getting elected to the University Panel seats would make university representation meaningless. This is an example of hypocrisy on his part, as he was himself closely aligned to a political party while a Senator for Dublin University in the Nineties. He even won a local election for that party while simultaneously serving as a University Panel Senator!"

He concluded: "There is a wider battle now for the balance of power in the Seanad. From that point of view, the University Panel electorate should know whether candidates are going to support the Government or not. As myself and Senator Ryan are the only candidates to express that we will be taking party whips, I feel that we are the only two political party endorsees who are being completely open and transparent with the electorate on what is the most important issue of this current Seanad election".



John Kennedy

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 15:20author address author phone

I think that John Kennedy makes very points about party loyalties. This is most evident when it comes to Hillery as FF are pushing him big time in this election. the only thing I would pull Kennedy up on is his point that only he and Ryan are honest about party affiliation. there are some genuine independents running, off hand I'm thinking of Price and Healy. They would not allign with any of the existing political parties. They are being open about it. I think that the "independent" status of some is highly dishonest. It is an attempt to pull the wool over people's eyes and to appear to be all things to all people.

author by John Kennedy - YFGpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 15:46author address author phone

I accept that Price, Healy et al are genuinely Independent, as I said:

"I feel that we are the only two political party endorsees who are being completely open and transparent"

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Mon Jul 02, 2007 16:09author address author phone

I'm not even sure that Dr. Hillery knows who is running his campaign.

And I'm not claiming to be endorsed by anyone but I've not hidden at any point that I'm a member of Fine Gael. Is JK suggesting I deny Enda Kenny 3 times before the cock crows?

author by Mariannepublication date Tue Jul 03, 2007 20:35author address author phone

Sean O'Connor has sent out a fourth bit of paper. 'Green' how are ya!

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Tue Jul 03, 2007 21:35author address author phone

FF are seriously fighting for seats in the University constituencies. The favoured members are Sean O'Connor in the Trinity election and Dr. John Hillery in the National University election. Big money and endorsements are coming behind these men. As reported above Sean O'Connor has sent out yet another leaflet.

Also in the newspapers over the past few days are internal rifts within Kerry's Fianna Fáil branches. the Ceann Comhairle, John O'Donoghue, is central to this dispute. His director of elections Liam Crowley is running with the backing of Munster MEP Jerry Crowley and others in the Kerry organisation. In a last minue decision Dr. Mary Riordan (nee O'Donoghue) put her name into the race. Dr. O'Riordan is John O'Donoghue's sister. This has caused great shock in the Kerry Fianna Fáil ranks and has further divided FF.

In the NUI constituency the six FF candidates are Mark Connolly, Liam Crowley, John Hillery, Rónán Mullen, Bernie O'Callaghan, and Mary O'Riordan. This has been described as a "power grab" by Trinity senator Shane Ross, particularly as they are running as "independents".

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 09:39author address author phone

I read somewhere that Dr. Mary Riordan may been using the free postage as a means to build her profile to run/contest a somewhat different election. Either the Irish Medical Council or its successor organisation (it is being replaced under the Medical practitioners legislation. And Hillery was the President of that, his stepping down may have been the reason for her last minute decision to run) Or the 3rd FF nomination in Limerick East in future GE's. FF need to find someone other than Noreen Ryan.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:22author address author phone

Dan are you building your profile for such a nomination putsch?!

This Seanad election shows very well the Main parties' internal dynamics of opportunism, shafting and careerism. Many of the 'independent' candidates are opportunistically running for some kind of ego/profile boost. It does taint the genuine independents. There is also shown the 'shafting' mentality of these Parties. In elections they never work together to further a political programme or policies as left-wing parties and groups do. They will always "shaft" each other in order to progress their own career within a party or in an elected body. For example the rivalries between O'Rourke and Cassidy in Westmeath, Ahern/Brady and Fitzpatrick in Dublin Central, O'Brien and Kennedy in Dublin North, Culhane and White in Dublin South, Mitchell and Shatter also in Dublin South... list goes on and on. When these people run more than 1 candidate there is always "shafting". Sneaky leaflets, posters gone missing, poaching volunteers, spreading rumours and other nasty dirty tricks. All coming from within these rotten disgusting parties.

I would genuinely trust rats on a sinking ship more than any member of FF/Greens/PD, FG, Labour.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 13:02author address author phone

I'm running for two reasons - to highlight the continued failure to extend voting rights beyond the NUI and TCD and - to draw attention the imposition of residential charges on disabled adults who are attempting to live independently by the HSE. I'm running to try and get people talking about some issues, I know you don't believe me but that is what I'm trying to do and you know what, I will have won if action gets taken on those issues. And action will get taken if I get enough votes that whoever does get elected knows they can't risk continuing to ignore them as issues.

As for divisions in political organisations, are you suggesting the left in Ireland is a cohesive mass that expends all its energies in pursuit of a common goal?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 14:17author address author phone

"As for divisions in political organisations, are you suggesting the left in Ireland is a cohesive mass that expends all its energies in pursuit of a common goal?"

Of course not. But the disagreements are political not personal. All divisions within parties I outlined above are purely personal. Personalities within parties battling out for their own advancement with not even a reference to a political difference.

I'm not accusing you Dan of merely running for personal advancement within FG. I do however think it odd that your policy on extending right to vote is also FG's policy and why not back the official FG endorsed candidate? On disability issues Tina Lowe was running. What disagreements do you have with her? (Mary O'Riordan was running on disability but I reckon it's obvious naked opportunism). Your election leaflet did not go into great detail on your disability policies. I think it was a one-liner.

All Irish citizens over 21 are entitled to run. But I think the number of candidates in this particular race is a farce. There are 6 FFers & at least 3 FGers & there are 2 pro-lifers. If they ran one candidate each we'd be down to 16 candidates which is far more managable. At least the 3 Teachers' Unions candidates had clear political differences.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 14:34author address author phone

I decided to run last autumn when no one was running on the issue of extending the franchise and frankly FG weren't running or looking to run a candidate at that time. The impetus back then was due to being a UL graduate more than anything else. And I note that John hasn't K responded to admit that "No" FG do not have a policy on "how" the franchise would be extended. That is par for the course. I'm trying to articulate the views of those on the outside and we're more than able to do that ourselves rather than having to have someone who thinks they are from one of the real universities speak on our behalf.

Also, I am trying to focus attention on one specific disability issue as a means to get attention for whole area. Honestly, she may have referred to it somewhere at some time, but I've not actually heard Tina address the issue I've mentioned either before the filing date. Had that been the case I might have left her to take the lead on the issue and simply given support. There again all that is a matters of tactics of how to get some attention for the area more than anything else. Like I've said I don't claim to own the issue of disability though I think some points are more valid coming from people who have been directly affected such as Tina or indirectly as would the case in my own family, much more so than the professionals who pop up say like the FF front runner who work in the area but get to go home at night. Of course the leaflet was one liners, it is the size of an envelope what do you expect?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 15:55author address author phone

Dan Sullivan to John Kennedy (both FG members): "After all I'm paying for my campaign rather than taking a free loading ego trip. (quoted from

There is proof if any is needed. At a time when FF, Greens, Labour, Unions, etc are in the hunt for NUI seats FG are not working together but bickering over personality politics. You both agree on the fundementals of Seanad reform. this is classic stuff from the establishment parties.

Dan, what is wrong with John Kennedy getting financed by FG or YFG? Surely FG funded your local election campaign in 2004. In my opinion there is not necessarily merit in funding your own campaign. If that is way forward than the poor can never run in Parliamentary elections.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 16:58author address author phone

to the rather snipe nature of the comments that preceded that post. As you would note, JK, hasn't taken the time out from his busy press release schedule to admit that his comment to me on this thread about my position conflicting with that of FG was incorrect. I'm simply stooping to his level, which is terribly mucky to be honest.

If you think that political parties HQs pay for the bulk of election expenses then I wonder what knowledge you can have of how elections are run at all.

author by John Kennedy - YFGpublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 17:16author address author phone

Dan initially stated that FG had given no indication about how Seanad voting rights could be extended. I responded by giving him one way how voting rights would be extended, quoting from the FG manifesto. This is the extension of voting rights to all graduates of third-level institutions. This is what Dan's campaign is predominantly based upon.

Dan then preceded to question the semantic use of "how" and it's meaning when I'd contradicted him correctly.

The Fine Gael submission under the Kenny leadership regarded Seanad Reform is detailed as follows:,%20Wed...3.htm

This is summarised as follows:

Three members of the Seanad would be elected by Irish citizens living abroad.

· The current electorate for the six university places would be expanded to allow all graduates from the Institutes of Technology and other State third level institutions, such as DCU and University of Limerick to vote.

· The Taoiseach's nominees would be reduced from 11 to eight.

· The number of Seanad members elected from the traditional panel system would be reduced from 43 to 23.

· The Seanad would be asked to establish a Committee for the Future, which would examine issues of future concern to Ireland, particularly those needing long-term consideration and planning.

· The Seanad would also be given a greater role in scrutinising EU legislation.

· All MEPs elected from the island of Ireland would be given a right to attend and speak (but not vote) in Seanad debates.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Wed Jul 04, 2007 18:30author address author phone

if I was questioning semantics or pointing out that you had missed the point when I noted that I had said that FG had not defined how voting rights would be extended. Emphasis on the word how. I never claimed that FG did not support the extension of voting rights. I think that you simply decided that you wanted to put someone in their place and stumbled in your rush to comment.

You have made the suggestion over on that non NUI voters should be voting in with TCD for their 3 seats. I've simply said that my submission would be that where the 3rd level seats are concerned we should have 6 seats with one graduate one vote. That is what I mean by how the vote would be extended. How is generally concerned with the mechanics of a thing.

I don't like your idea as I think it is patronising that it might surprise you is something as a free citizen I'm entitled to do. We differ on the mechanics but I've not claimed your idea is in conflict with Fine Gael policy, so why did you? Is it because of some insecurity you have that people won't give you due attention because you are the official, endorsed, only, most chosen, selected Fine Gael candidate?

Even in what you've quoted above it doesn't address the issue of how those voting rights would be extended, would it be my idea or your suggestion, or some other possibility. I have to say whether it is your inability to admit either being wrong in your comment or your failure to understand what I was talking that neither would give anyone much faith that you would be very effective as a public representative.

Or JK, are you in fact suggesting you are defining Fine Gael's policy on the hoof? I fail to see where my comments were in in conflict with Fine Gael policy which is what you stated. Or are you somehow suggesting that your policy idea is the one in conflict? And if so to what end?

author by John Kennedy - YFGpublication date Thu Jul 05, 2007 09:47author address author phone

Dan, you state:

"Even in what you've quoted above it doesn't address the issue of how those voting rights would be extended, would it be my idea or your suggestion, or some other possibility."

The link I referenced before lists this:,%20Wed...3.htm

also on:

"20 members of the Seanad would be elected directly by the electorate at large on the same day as any General Election.

These 20 members would be drawn equally (five each) from the four European constituencies.

The 20 members would be elected on the basis of a list electoral system.


Full details are given describing how voting rights would be extended to citizens for 20 seats.

End of Story.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:49author address author phone

I was referring to the mechanism of how voting rights would be extended for the six 3rd level seats, I was not talking about how the rest of the Seanad might be reformed and that was pretty clear in the context of the discussion at the time. I was talking about the 3rd level seats and obviously you made the mistake of thinking I was referring to the rest of the Seanad. Seems pretty clear where the breakpoint occurred there.

I would reckon most people are fairly bored at this point with this discussion. Now don't you have a YFG youth manifesto to promote?


author by munster man - up munsterpublication date Tue Jul 10, 2007 19:23author address author phone

Vote for the two cork candidates if you are from Cork. Give yout no 1 to Mark Connolly and your no 2 to Brendan Ryan.

author by NUI Graduatepublication date Tue Jul 10, 2007 20:26author address author phone

"Vote for the two cork candidates if you are from Cork. Give yout no 1 to Mark Connolly and your no 2 to Brendan Ryan."

Why? Does it matter where a person lives? Give me one good reason why I should vote for these people if they come from my area? Why? Any person with half a brain will vote for a person or party they agree with. I could not care less if a candidate is from Timbuctoo - so long as they've the right policies.

BTW - Mark Connolly is a Fianna Fáiler. So if you want the Government to be in big trouble in the Seanad don't vote for FF or Green candidates. Just one FFer or Green from NUI or TCD will gove Government a majority.

author by Eamon Farrenpublication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:55author email ney21 at exicte dot comauthor address author phone

Well not much to be learned in this it seems to be maninly hacks..

Not much talkabout reforming the Seanad, which is rotten to the core. The sitting lads obviously don't give a monkeys why would those turkeys vote for Christmas..

Martin Hogan and Brendan Ryan in the NUI and Sean Connor in Trinity seem to be meeting Gormely on the issue soon, hopefully something will come of that.

author by Sean O'Keefepublication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 15:32author address author phone

Here is the reform I propose - ABOLITION

Green Party's Martin Hogan (who's never really been involved in Shell2Sea by the way) and Labour Party's Brendan Ryan are defending the Graduate electorate! Any person remotely on the left would call for the abolition of the University seats and more importantly for the Seanad itself. It's there to hold back the democratic expression of the people through a Dáil election. The Presidency should also be abolished as it is designed to undermine any future radical government that may be elected.

Abolish Senate & President!
For real democracy Abolish Capitalism!
For Workers' Control of Economy!
TDs on Average wage & subject to instant Re-call!
Abolish Corporate Donations!

author by Eamon Farrenpublication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 19:14author address author phone

Fair play to you Sean...and while we are at it why don't we all huddle into a workers' collective in your Ma's shed.

author by Sean O'Kpublication date Sun Jul 15, 2007 19:58author address author phone

Eamon, give me one good reason why University seats should be kept?

All the establishment parties are in favour of keeping them. this is an outrage. It even flies in the face of basic democratic principles accepted by most post-French Revolution western capitalist states. At best the Irish political establishment want to "reform" the University seats. Eamon, you really think having all Irish graduates voting in a single 6 seater constituency will be any more democratic? All that would do is eliminate the discrimination within graduates and would do nothing for the millions of others that have no say. Who cares if more gradudates get a vote? The majority of graduates that have a right to vote choose not to register. Even when ballots are sent out most are not cast!

If you want to change Franchise laws why not give IMMIGRANTS to Ireland a vote in Dáil elections and referenda. Why should I get a Dáil vote over a neighbour just because he's not an Irish citizen? Why should I get a Senate vote over him because he's not a graduate?

author by bachelor of farts! - Poohpublication date Mon Jul 23, 2007 19:02author address author phone

Dan do nt tell me your going to the count. You ve spent enough money on this campaign already! Sure its going to be the same 3 Senators in again.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 09:43author address author phone

I've spent much less than most of the candidates. And why would going to the count cost me money, is there an entrance charge, are we promised a fight?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:59author address author phone

The count will take a very long time due to the crazy situation of 24 candidates running for 3 positions. That must be a record in an Irish parliamentary election? It's time the no-hopers don't bother and the parties control their nominations. If Dan is going to the count I think he'll be leaving early. If I was a candidate with a real chance I'd only turn up tomorrow when it starts to matter!

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:45author address author phone

such wit and wisdom from one so wizen, one wonders what wretch did warp you so?

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:05author address author phone

Dan, paying attention to these elections have warped me! Although I think even the first eliminations will only happen in evening! So Dan, you might want to bring your sleeping bag as I reckon you won't come last. I make no apologies for saying the parties should control their candidates as it's frankly annoying to have to research 6 FFers when the most they will win is 1!

Due to the "non-party" nature of this election the top 3 on first preferences tend to get elected - unless of course 3rd and 4th place are very close. The transfers tend to go reasonably evenly across the other candidates. The exception will be O'Sullivan to Healy high due to the fact their voters tend to work together and these candidates have canvassed many of the same schools!

author by Bachelor of artspublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 16:16author address author phone

It has been reported on that Rónán Mullen (FF and "Family Solidarity" candidate) has topped the poll.

author by Shell to seapublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 18:30author address author phone

It looks like our campaign has suffered another defeat Dr garavin has polled poorley in the senead elections the latest figures are he got 1.7% of the vote

author by John o'Mahonypublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 19:07author address author phone

The poor poll by Garavan is not a reflection of the support in society for the S2S campaign.

Firstly the NUI electorate are not representative, it is a rotten borough of graduates that have bothered to register and who have not moved house or died recently!

Secondly Garavan did not stand as a Shell to Sea campaign candidate. He stood as a 'sociologist' who 'acted as spokeperson for Rossport 5'.

author by Tallymanpublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 19:40author address author phone

We just have to bear in mind that Mullen is not elected yet. Only 4,000 votes or so are tallied and even if this does bear out to be the result he still only has half a quota. We have to remember the 10% held by the union candidates, O'Sullivan and Healy, will be crucial. it's even a long shot that O'Sullivan or Healy might be in the final 4 or 5. But if not their transfers are more likely to favour Brendan Ryan over Rónán Mullen in the last shake up.

Another factor in the transfers is that the incumbants may benefit from name recognition over Mullen when it comes to very low down transfers.

author by mark garavinpublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 20:02author address author phone

"The poor poll by Garavan is not a reflection of the support in society for the S2S campaign."
"The poor poll by Dr Cowley is not a reflection of the support in society for the S2S campaign."
"The poor turnout at last saturdays protest is not a reflection of the support in society for the S2S campaign."
" The fact that the green s have distanced themselfs from the campaign is not a reflection of the support in society for the S2S campaign."

So what measure should we use to gauge the support in society for the S2S campaign?

author by Seanad Watchpublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 20:12author address author phone

Results for the Agriculture panel are just in. Fianna Fáil got 5 seats (down 1), Fine Gael got 4 (no change), Labour won 1 (no change) and Sinn Féin took a seat for the first time. There was no change in party make up in the earlier counted Culture & Education panel.

With Fianna Fáil avoiding a meltdown due to support from Green, PD and Sinn Féin public reps, it looks like it is now a foregone conclusion that the government will keep it's majority in the Senate.

the counting will now move onto the Labour panel where 25 candidates are chasing 11 seats. Notable contenders are Labour's ex sticky Eric Byrne and their ex WUAG councillor Phil Prendergast. It will also be interesting to see how ex leader of FF on Dublin Co Co Don Lydon will do. He is known for physically attacking Trevor Sareaent in the council chamber when he highlighted the corruption endemic on that body. He has also been shunned by Fianna Fáil HQ following investigations by the tribunals into his affairs.

Counting is also taking place for NUI and Trinity seats. Trinity counts are delayed but very early tallies show a close race between the 2 incumbants and alleged Opus Dei member and FF supporter Ronan Mullen.

author by Bachelor of Artspublication date Tue Jul 24, 2007 20:48author address author phone

The first tally I think will be accurate as unlike a Dáil election ballots are not opened in geographical order. The postal voting mixes all ballots up a lot.

By no means is Mullen elected. He will be fighting with Feargal Quinn for the final seat in my view as transfers from Paddy Healy, Bernadine O'Sullivan, Martin Hogan and Brendan Price will benifit Brendan Ryan. In fact O'Sullivan and Healy may yet overtake Ryan if a transfer pattern emerges between the anti-partnership Teachers' Unions!

Interesting to see the Government candidates Martin Hogan and John Hillery bombed. They put in high profile campaigns but did not deliver. Nonetheless Hillery's and Hogan's transfer will be interesting. Bresnihan did well and may stay in along while but ultimately she'll be eliminated. Mark Garavan bombed. I'm not surprised as he was very weak on his support for Shell to Sea. I know many members of that camapign with a vote that did not touch him with a barge poll in this election. Shell2Sea should realise that elections are not where the campaign will be won. Crowley was squeezed by national factors and Garavan was a poor candidate in a rotten borough. John Kennedy of FG has shown that a clear party label can help as I earlier predicted. It helped him raise above the 'also rans'. I won't waste my time on the others, except Daniel Sullivan (as he contributes to this thread). Sullivan can be heartened in my view. His clear issue (graduate votes) probably helped him get his 1%.

author by Dan Sullivanpublication date Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:50author address author phone

I'm not elated but not disappointed either. I had no alumni base to work from and was very constrained or disciplined in my spending. I do wonder about some who appear to have spent 5 figures sums if they really thought it through.

I intend being a busy bee in Gormley's bonnet until he legislates to extend the franchise. And I'm going to continue to try and get some more light of the issue of the residential charges. We were all told told by the quartet that were received by Gormley that an observer would be present at the count, I saw no such observer in attendance. Perhaps they were in disguise as Justin Barrett.

Mullen's campaign was very effective but if you have pro-life sleeper groups (some are saying 200 such groups) around the country who can go door to door over the course of months plus a column in a national paper then you've got an advantage that the rest of us can't match...for the moment at any rate.

Bresnihan will probably view the next open seat as hers should it be Quinn that is stepping down. Not sure that Ryan will run again, perhaps if the election is within the next 3 years (if Cowen goes to the country after the locals), if it goes 5 years probably not. Brendan Price seemed to suggest he wasn't going to give it another go (but it could too tempting for him if there was a real opening). Surely, the ASTI will consider someone else at this point.

All in all, it was a worthwhile experience but I would really prefer if these were the last elections under this format.

author by Dark Horsepublication date Fri Jul 27, 2007 14:28author address author phone

Some predictions here about Mullen's election chances were wide of the mark. He was the dark horse that came to the front on the stand side. Next time you want to predict senate results get more reliable information from the stable lads. 200 pro-life sleeper groups? This is as alarming as reds-under-the-beds talk before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

author by Darker Horsepublication date Fri Jul 27, 2007 15:35author address author phone

Feargal Quinn ain't no spring chicken. I don't mean to be morbid but don't rule out a by-election in the next while! I'd say there are a fair few others interested in a by-election contest. Possibly Brendan Ryan, Valerie Bresnihan and Bernadine O'Sullivan. But don't rule out darker horses like left-wingers Joe Higgins, Clare Daly, Kieran Allen or Richard Boyd-Barrett throwing their hat in the ring. Brendan Price went into the election saying it would be his last. With that attitude no wonder he didn't challange for the position. Personally, I was never canvassed despite living in a house with a few NUI graduates. I'm not too sure how much this was done.

author by Mario Melissepublication date Wed Dec 03, 2008 20:16author address author phone

I guess Ceasar was right , you are still a bunch of hapless misfits when it comes to politics .
And I'm very glad about that , there is more global thinking on that periferic slab of soggy bog than on whichever continent .
Still celts at heart , I've seen the Tim Nelligans wasting their shoe leather and be out of pocket with that .
I've worked with Brendan Price and seen him swing a sledge hammer in a way that'd give most of you bogstompers the willies .
Still , for all the effort that's been put in from the soul of this country , the belly will VOTE to be american now it has tasted the gluttony .

Such a shame .

author by nuipublication date Wed Dec 03, 2008 22:04author address author phone

yeah right whatever

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