FORMER Fianna Fáil Deputy Niall Blaney has failed in his bid to win a seat in Seanad Eireann and will now seek a ‘different route’ back into politics while Pádraig MacLochlainn is back in politics just two months after losing his Dáil seat.
The Sinn Fein representative was elected to Upper House earlier this week after topping the poll on the Industrial and Commercial Panel.
He joins outgoing Senator Brian O Domhnaill (Fianna Fáil) in the Seanad and Termon native Robbie Gallagher. A Monaghan Fianna Fáil Councillor, Gallagher was elected to the Labour Panel on the seventeenth count.
Speaking to the Donegal News yesterday, Thursday, Mr Blaney said that he would now seek a ‘different route’ back into politics.
“I’m only forty-two and this is only the start of my comeback. I’ve too much to offer politics and I’ve given up too much in my personal life to stop now.
“This was my first run at a Seanad election and it’s been a learning curve. I’ve found that it’s not too much to do with your political past but more to do with your relationship with current councillors. Five weeks (campaign) was not enough to get me a seat as a lot of those who got in are either sitting councillors or are on national representative bodies for local authorities. I’ve enjoyed the experience though and it has sparked my political career back into life. I’ll just have to take a different route,” Mr Blaney said.
First elected to the Dáil as a member of Independent Fianna Fáil in 2002, Mr Blaney joined Fianna Fáil in 2006 and successfully retained his seat in 2007 before pulling out of the 2011 election campaign just a month before polling day.
Meanwhile, Senator Brian O Domhnaill said he was privileged to be re-elected to Seanad Eireann. He was one of 24 candidates contesting the nine seats on the Agricultural Panel. The Fianna Fáil representative was deemed elected on the 17th count.
He was an unsuccessful candidate at the Seanad election for the Industrial and Commercial Panel in 2007, but became a senator after being nominated by the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in 2007. He was the Fianna Fáil candidate in the Donegal South-West by-election in 2010.
He said that he was “truly honoured to have been re-elected to Seanad Eireann.”
Former Donegal County Council Chairman John Campbell contested the Labour Panel, but was eliminated on the fifth count.
There was also Donegal interest in the Cultural and Educational Panel, with former Judge Sean Mc Bride, a native of Greencastle eliminated on the Sixth Count and former councillor Dr Seosamh O’Ceallaigh eliminated on the ninth count.
There was also disappointment for Derry entrepreneur Peter Casey, who has considered contesting the General Election in Donegal. He was eliminated on the seventh count.
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