Local candidates in Seanad race

Seven candidates from the Co. Roscommon area are contesting the Seanad elections, which began this week.

  The House is comprised of 60 members, 11 of whom are nominated by the Taoiseach. The remaining 49 seats are contested in an election: 43 by way of an election for panel members and six by an election for university members.

  The ballot papers were issued to the electorate for panel members this week, while the papers for university members were issued on March 21. The results for both contests will be determined on April 26.

  At present, there are two Senators from Co. Roscommon, Terry Leyden (Fianna Fáil) and John Kelly (Labour), but only the former is seeking re-election, on the Labour Panel, after the latter failed to secure a nomination.

  Two Roscommon councillors, Nigel Dineen (Independent) and Maura Hopkins (Fine Gael), are seeking election to the Seanad for the first time.

  Cllr. Dineen, who lives at Ballintubber, is contesting the Commercial and Industrial Panel. Ballaghaderreen’s Cllr. Hopkins, an unsuccessful candidate in the General Election, is participating on the Administrative Panel.

  Dr. Martin Daly, a well-known Ballygar GP, and Barry Johnston, from Creagh, near Ballinasloe, are both vying for seats on the NUI Panel.

  Dr. Keith Swanick, a Castlerea native, who has a medical practice in Belmullet, is standing for Fianna Fáil on the Cultural and Educational Panel.

  Finally, Fianna Fáil councillor Aengus O’Rourke, who lives at Barrybeg in south Roscommon, is contesting the Industrial and Commercial Panel.