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Doonbeg’s Rita to be considered as Fianna Fáil nominee for Seanad by-election

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*Photograph: John Mangan

Doonbeg’s Rita McInerney has been nominated as a potential Fianna Fáil candidate for the upcoming Seanad by-elections.

Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) has confirmed he has submitted a nomination for Rita to contest the Seanad by-elections. “Rita is a successful businesswoman, a community activist and a staunch advocate for rural Ireland,” he stated.

Each member of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party is entitled to nominate a candy which will presented to the party who will then vote on one candidate to stand in the by-election. The Doonbeg woman will now be considered for the internal selection process.

Last year, Rita was one of the three Fianna Fáil candidates in the General Election, she received 4,136 first preference votes and was eliminated on the seventh count. Prior to this, the former CEO of Ennis Chamber ran as an Independent in the 2009 local elections in the Ennis West constituency amassing 279 votes for the first count, once again she was eliminated on the seventh count.

Dublin councillors, Kate Feeney and Shane Moynihan, ex Senator Gerry Horgan and former TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony of Cork South-West are among the favourites to receive the party nomination with Longford councillor, Uruemu Adejinmi who is aspiring to become the first person of African descent to be elected to the Oireachtas.

Former Junior Minister, Michael D’Arcy’s (FG) resignation from the Seanad to head up a lobby group for financial investment companies has prompted the need for a rare Seanad by-election. The party has nominated Limerick’s Maria Byrne to contest the forthcoming Seanad Agricultural Panel bye-election.

Should McInerney prevail in securing the party’s nomination and win a seat in the Seanad she would bring Clare’s representation in the Upper House to four joining Senator Martin Conway (FG), Senator Roisin Garvey (GP) and Senator Timmy Dooley (FF).

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, and 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 -

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