BANTRY-based FF Senator Denis O’Donovan was elected chairman of the Seanad this week after getting the backing of Fine Gael.
Although the post usually goes to a government senator, O’Donovan was promised the role after the lengthy negotiations to form a government concluded last month.
He was proposed by Sen Catherine Ardagh, daughter of former TD Sean Ardagh, and seconded by Sen Mark Daly, from Kenmare, both members of Fianna Fail.
Sen O’Donovan, a solicitor by profession, was first elected to Cork County Council in 1985, and re-elected in 1991 and 1999. He was nominated to the Seanad in 1989.
He was an unsuccessful candidate at the 1993 Seanad elections but returned in 1997. O’Donovan was elected to the Dail in 2002 but lost his seat five years later and returned to the Seanad. In 2011, Sen O’Donovan was returned to the Senate, where he served as leas cathaoirleach (deputy chairman). He was re-elected to the Seanad again this year.