MARGARET Murphy O’Mahony’s third – and possibly final – bid to secure a Seanad seat has proven to be unsuccessful.
From 2014 to 2016, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony served as a Fianna Fáil councillor in the Bandon-Kinsale local electoral area before historically becoming the first woman to win one of the three seats in the Cork South West constituency.
She served as a TD from 2016 to 2020, but was displaced in last year’s general election by her running mate, Christopher O’Sullivan (FF).
Her attempt to secure a seat in the Seanad the same year also proved unsuccessful, and she was doubly unlucky not to be listed among the Taoiseach’s 11 nominees.
This time out, it was widely believed that Margaret Murphy O’Mahony was the favourite to secure the Fianna Fáil nomination to fill a Seanad vacancy on the industrial and commercial panel, which was created when the Armagh senator, Elisha McCallion, resigned last October.
But with 12 Fianna Fáil candidates seeking the nomination it was a crowded field, and the majority of the 57 eligible votes favoured former senator Gerry Horkan. It left Margaret Murphy O’Mahony a close runner-up, with the vote 31 to 26 in the final tally.
In the coming weeks, there will also be a second by-election in the Seanad for the agricultural panel, but Fine Gael has already chosen Limerick’s Maria Byrne to fill the vacancy, which was created when Michael Darcy controversially left for a job in the private sector as the chief executive of the Irish Association of Investment Management.
The selected FF and FG candidates will have the backing of the government parties – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party – however, a combined opposition vote could still, technically, cause an upset.
The Southern Star contacted the former TD, but she was not available for a comment, but Margaret Murphy O’Mahony did extend her congratulations to Mr Horkan via Twitter and wished him luck with ‘the next leg’ of the election process.