Irish Labour leader puts Mairia Cahill forward for Seanad byelection

Labour haven’t lost any time in trying to fill Jimmy Hart’s lately vacated seat in the upper house in Dublin. Mairia Cahill is the surprise proposal from the party’s leadership. The rest of the party has to ratify her candidacy, although given they awarded her their Jim Larkin Prize earlier in the year that looks like a formality.

Joan Burton why she’s been nominated:

Burton on Cahill nomination

Cutting indecently to the realpolitik of it all, Cahill be hard for the other parties in the Seanad to oppose. She’s been feted by both the Taoiseach and Micheal Martin of Fianna Fail as something of a national hero not only for telling her own story, but in her advocacy for others who’ve found themselves in the same position.

If successful Labour, who have been eaten alive in their Dublin heartlands in last year’s local government elections by Sinn Fein would have a powerful means to push back on that party’s weakness in southern politics. Definitely a story worth keeping a watchful eye on.

To coin an old phrase she hasn’t gone away you know?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty