The Senate race at local level is moving on at some pace. Yesterday (Wednesday) local Fine Gael councillor Domnick Connolly made a big breakthrough when he secured a nomination on the Agricultural Panel. Cllr. Connolly attended a series of interviews in Buswell’s Hotel in Dublin before securing a nomination with the support of the ICSA, Irish Pig Breeders Association and Irish Lifestock Exports Association. A delighted Cllr. Connolly told the People that it was now ‘full steam ahead’ for him – he said that he would immediately begin a 26-county canvass. ‘Of course I will be hoping for support from all colleagues in Roscommon, including at Oireachtas level,’ he added. Cllr. Connolly had failed to secure a nomination at a Fine Gael meeting in Rooskey on Monday night. Leitrim Fine Gael Cllr. Damien Brennan was nominated to run for the party from the Roscommon/South Leitrim constituency. Meanwhile it has been revealed that An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has decreed that all defeated TDs must contest the Seanad election (no automatic appointments) if they want to serve in the Upper House so defeated Leitrim TD John Ellis will contest the election – he has secured a nomination on the Industrial and Commercial panel. Another Leitrim Fianna Fail Councillor, Mary Bohan, will contest on the Agricultural Panel while outgoing Senator Pascal Mooney will contest the election on the Educational Panel. As we went to press The People also learnt that Leitrim-based Cllr. Enda McGloin (Fine Gael) has secured a nomination. Roscommon’s outgoing Senator Terry Leyden will be contesting on the Labour Panel while Cllr. Eugene Murphy also contests the election on the Agricultural panel and Cllr. Rachel Doherty expects to secure her nomination on the Administration panel tomorrow (Friday). The Agricultural panel will be the most competitive one in the Connacht-Ulster region with at least 10 Fianna Fail candidates in the field and it is expected that about four or five candidates will actually get a seat from that section. Outgoing Senators Leyden and Mooney will be strongly fancied to take seats while ex-Deputy Ellis will make a strong bid for a seat over the next few weeks of campaigning. Senator Terry Leyden was nominated by the Irish Conference of Professional and Service Associations (ICPSA) to contest the Seanad Election 2007 on the Labour Panel. Senator Leyden was elected to Seanad Eireann on the Labour Panel in 2002, and over the past five years he has pursued numerous issues in the chamber, including his ‘name and shame’ consumer campaign. Seanad Eireann polls will close on Monday 23rd July for panels and on Tuesday 24th July for university constituencies.