Scramble for Seanad

Cllrs. Tony Waldron and Eugene Murphy have both expressed strong interest in seeking election to Seanad Éireann in the aftermath of Fianna Fáil’s loss of a Dail seat in this constituency in last week’s general election.  Cllr. Rachel Doherty also told Roscommon People that she hasn’t ‘ruled out’ seeking a nomination.  Eugene Murphy is a long-standing and high-profile local public representative who has attempted to gain entry into the national political arena on several occasions in the past; Tony Waldron is serving his first term on Roscommon County Council and is the party’s standard-bearer in West Roscommon. Fine Gael councillors Michael McGreal and John Connor have also confirmed that they are seeking nominations to contest the Senate elections. There is speculation too that Cllr. Domnick Connolly will seek election to the Seanad’s Agricultural panel.   Fianna Fail Senator Terry Leyden is seeking re-election to the Labour panel and a number of Leitrim councillors are also looking to be nominated for the electoral contest. John Ellis, additionally, is thought to be considering his political future this week and it is certain that Senator Paschal Mooney from Drumshanbo will be a candidate on the Cultural & Educational Panel. The real excitement locally is within Fianna Fáil in North-Roscommon however. There will be strong calls for the party to  run a candidate in the next general election in that area. Those seeking to run would benefit from membership of Seanad Éireann. Of the prospective candidates – Mr. Waldron, Mr. Murphy, Ms. Doherty, and Cllr. John Cummins – only John Cummins has ruled out the possibility of contesting the Seanad elections.  Speaking to Roscommon People at last Monday’s meeting of Roscommon County Council Cllr. Tony Waldron told Roscommon People that he is consulting with his colleagues in the Fianna Fáil organisation with a view to running for Seanad Éireann. The Ballintubber-based businessman expressed an interest in entering the national political theatre and acknowledged an interest in being a general election candidate in the future. ‘Every councillor in County Roscommon has an interest in progressing further and I will consult with my colleagues in Fianna Fáil with a view to running for Seanad Éireann. I am interested in being a candidate,’ he said. Cllr. Eugene Murphy, meanwhile, told Roscommon People that he has sought nominations from ‘two different bodies’ and that he hopes to be a candidate later this summer. The Fine Gael organisation in Roscommon, meanwhile, will lend support to Leitrim Councillors Enda McGloin and Damien Brennan. Cllrs. Brennan and McGloin were instrumental in Frank Feighan’s general election success. Domnick Connolly is thought to be interested in seeking a seat on the Agricultural panel. Cllr. John Connor is rumoured to be seeking a seat on the Labour panel. The elections to Dáil Éireann of Frank Feighan, James Bannon (Longford), Eamon Scanlon (Sligo) and Ulick Burke (Galway) leave Seanad vacancies in the Connacht region.