All results are now in for the 25th Seanad elections, and there has been great success for female candidates. Fourteen women have been elected – an increase of three from the 24th session – resulting in 28.5% of the 49 seats available being female.
Our EQUIP alumna Rose Conway Walsh experienced a resounding victory, topping the poll for Sinn Féin on the Agriculture Panel. She is joined on the panel by Fine Gael’s Maria Byrne and the Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan. This means that there is a 150% increase of female representation on the Agriculture panel since 2011.
The Cultural and Educational panel has also seen an increase from the 24th Seanad session, which had one female member. Fine Gael’s Gabrielle McFadden and Fianna Fáil’s Lorraine Clifford Lee were both elected, meaning that 40% of the panel is now female.
Sinn Féin had another poll-topping candidate with Máire Devine taking a seat on the Labour Panel. Fianna Fáil’s Jennifer Murnane O’Connor was also elected to this panel.
The Administrative panel, which was comprised only of men in the 24th Seanad, has returned one female senator for this session, with Fine Gael’s Maura Hopkins being victorious.
Another of our EQUIP alumnae achieved success, as Catherine Ardagh won a seat on the Industrial and Commercial panel for Fianna Fáil. Fine Gael’s Catherine Noone has kept her seat on this panel, while Frances Black joins them as an Independent Senator.
A particular success has been seen in the NUI panel, which hasn’t had a female senator since 1982. Independent candidate Alice Mary Higgins has broken that trend by winning the third seat in a closely contested race. The Trinity constituency has also gained a female senator as Independent candidate and Trinity SU President Lynn Ruane took the third seat to join Labour’s Ivana Bacik.
There are eleven senators are yet to be elected; but as these are the Taoiseach’s nominees, their election is contingent on the formation of a government.
Maura Hopkins (FG)
Maria Byrne (FG)
Rose Conway-Walsh (SF)
Grace O’Sullivan (GP)
Cultural & Educational Panel
Lorraine Clifford-Lee (FF)
Gabrielle McFadden (FG)
Industrial & Commercial Panel
Catherine Ardagh (FF)
Frances Black (Ind)
Catherine Noone (FG)
Máire Devine (SF)
Jennifer Murnane-O’Connor (FF)
National University of Ireland
Alice Mary Higgins (Ind)
University of Dublin (TCD)
Ivana Bacik (Lab)
Lynn Ruane (Ind)
Administrative Panel: 1/7 Senators are female (14%)
Agricultural Panel: 3/11 Senators are female (27%)
Cultural & Educational Panel: 2/5 Senators are female (40%)
Industrial & Commercial Panel: 3/9 Senators are female (33%)
Labour Panel: 2/11 Senators are female (18%)
NUI: 1/3 Senators are female (33%)
TCD: 2/3 Senators are female (66%)