Niall Ó Donnghaile to run for the Seanad

Former Mayor of Belfast and serving Titanic Quarter Councillor, Niall Ó Donnghaile is to run for the Seanad on the Administrative Panel for Sinn Fein.

Speaking about the decision to run he said;

This is an ideal opportunity to give a voice to Belfast and its citizens in the heart of the Oireachtas.

Ending partition, building economic prosperity, protecting & promoting the rights and entitlements of Irish citizens in the north and promoting peace-building and reconciliation will be to the fore of my agenda if elected to the Seanad.

I look forward to the campaign in the coming weeks and am determined to bring a positive, inclusive and dynamic Belfast perspective to the Oireachtas.

I am not au fait with Seanad numbers, so I am not sure how strong the chances of victory are (comments section if you know more).  Niall is also the party’s candidate in East Belfast for the upcoming Assembly election on May 5th.

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • Ernekid

    A key consideration for Seanad reform is to give Northerners and the diaspora a vote in the Seanad as well as a vote for the Irish president. ( two Northerners in my family have a Seanad vote already, my father as a graduate of NUIG and my sister as a graduate of TCD).

  • Kevin Breslin

    Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Seamas Mallon and Bríd Rodgers. 😀

  • the rich get richer

    He is from a younger generation which is good. Gerry the undead should open his eyes. He is yesterdays man.

  • Msiegnaro

    Removing pictures of members of the Royal family from the Mayor’s parlour and refusing to present an award to an army cadet member, not exactly positive and inclusive leadership.

    I am also confused as to exactly what jurisdiction the Seanad has over Northern Ireland?

  • Gingray

    Did they get elected or appointed, I canny remember?

  • Gingray

    Seanad Éireann provides more of an advisory role and has no jurisdiction – membership is open to all Irish citizens, and there have been a plethora of appointees from the North, mostly nationalists or apolitical, but also the rare unionist.

    Like it or not, there are Irish up here and the Seanad has been a means to provide a light form of lip service to the all Ireland cause.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Both were Taoiseach appointments. I would have no doubt on either’s electability in the Deisceart.

  • John Collins

    Come on
    He is way further back than just yesterday. He should have gone at least by 2,000. I will never, even in a bad fit, vote SF but he is long a liability for them.

  • chrisjones2

    They are very welcome!!!!!

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Now I know what to do if I wish a change of political scenary ! Just attend the wrong funeral ? Looks like an Army Council Decision from here ?

  • Nordie Northsider

    You should, if you recall Austin Currie’s Presidential bid.

  • Megatron

    I think following the successful council elections of a few years ago SF should be guaranteed a few seats so he should make it.

  • Kev Hughes

    Ba zinga!

  • banana man

    You assume this is a demotion? I would see it as a promotion.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Yeah you could be possibly right but I also see it as an admission that SF have accepted that an MLA coming from East Belfast is too much beyond them. The numbers are just not there and for a very long foreseeable future. With all the other constituencies in Belfast being occupied with existing tenants best to pack Niall off to Dublin for a few years. Could see him as a possible South Belfast MLA in the future.

  • banana man

    Struggle to even see a council seat in East Belfast for Sinn Féin in the future never mind an assembly seat, and surely if he is successful his own council seat will be in jeopardy next time around

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Fair point he just about came in over the line back in 2014 council elections. I am sure the Shinner Bots have also looked at the figures and the game plan. Like I said future MLA for South Belfast.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I would say Austin Currie may not have been able to beat Mary Robinson who was an excellent reformist president, but if he wanted to make Senator he would have been. If he had run for Senate at the time, he would’ve secured election, as he had in the Dail to a much wider constituency.

    Unless Sinn Féin has the right to directly appoint a candidate, I would doubt Niall’s ability to get elected here onto the administrative panel. I am surprised given his interest in the Irish language he didn’t opt for Culture and Education one.

  • Granni Trixie

    Why give SB the short straw?

  • Granni Trixie

    But what connection has he to SB? Also, do you mean that through time there are 2 sf quotas in SB? If not what would happen to MOM?

  • chrisjones2

    …and what an addition to the house he will be ……….

  • T.E.Lawrence

    For SF East & South Belfast is one managed constituency so Niall would be involved also in a lot of South Belfast Constituency Work and issues. Would take a very long time if ever for SF to make 2 quotas in SB (If they did that they would have an MP – not sure what benefit that would give them or SB anyway as they do not attend Westminster). With NI Assembly Constituencies going down to 5 MLAs in 2021 there is only one SF position in the constituency in the future. It will be a question of when Mr Millionaire Man hands the batten over to Niall. Could also be 2021. I am sure the Shinner Bots have some kind of succession plan ?

  • Granni Trixie

    Half of WB now lives in SB – is there no one actually living in the constituency from SF to succeed Mr Millionaire? I say this because as a voter in SB I want someone with connections to the area.

  • donalrooa

    How did this happen, and why is it being kept so quiet?