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Ann Marie Flanagan eliminated from Seanad election

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*Ann Marie Flanagan. Photograph: James Sheppard

Disability activist Ann Marie Flanagan (IND) has lost out in her attempts to become a Senator.

Running for national political office for the first time, the Corofin native was eliminated on the sixth count of the Seanad Elections for the Administrative panel.

Flanagan received 22 first preference votes in what was a very competitive panel. Among the nineteen candidates vying for seven seats alongside Ann Marie were current Senators Martin Conway (FG), Mark Daly (FF), Lorraine Clifford Lee (FF) and John Dolan (IND), former TDs, Noel Rock (FG) and Fiona O’Loughlin (FF) along with Niall Ó Donnghaile (SF) and Rebecca Moynihan (LAB).

Speaking on Friday, Ann Marie said it was “an absolute privilege to have been nominated by an organisation so close to my heart, Independent Living Movement Ireland”. Despite the result, the Ennistymon woman has pledged to continue for the civil rights of disabled people, families, older people and all individuals experiencing social exclusion and segregation.

Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) was among her most highest profile supporters for the campaign.

PRO of the Clare Leader Forum, Ann Marie stated that she would be inclined to contest the Seanad election in the future. “To be an unelected independent candidate in the Seanad to some degree is masochistic in as it is very different to any other election. But of course I would do it all over again because it’s afforded me the platform to travel around the country until 12th March and converse by phone, text and email to about peoples civil rights. To talk about rights not charity. And that to me was my motivation”.

Outgoing Senator, Martin Conway (FG) remains in a positive position to retain his title as the county’s only member of the Upper House.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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