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Senator Dooley returns from political wilderness

AS one of the so-called ‘Taoiseach’s 11’, Senator Timmy Dooley said he is delighted to return to the upper house, where he pledged to leverage his close contacts at the cabinet table in the best interests of Clare. The Mountshannon native denied that the beard he sported during lockdown was symbolic of his stint in the political wilderness, after two two unsuccessful election campaigns, one for the Dáil and the other for the Seanad. A fund-raising shave raised over €2,000 for Sláinte an Chláir and sharpened his image for a return to Leinster House. The former Fianna Fáil TD is intimately familiar with the corridors of power, and his senator’s office is in close proximity to some of those who will be sitting at the cabinet table. “My close colleagues Micheal McGrath and Darragh O’Brien have two powerful portfolios,” he said. “I was in Ógra Fianna Fáil with Norma Foley 30 years ago. I won’t be slow to use my …

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Martin Conway Retains Seanad Seat

ENNISTYMON’S Martin Conway has retained his Seanad seat making him the only successful Clare candidate in the race. The Fine Gael member secured 90 first preference votes and was elected to the Administrative Panel on the sixteenth count, on a total of 149,765 ballots. Senator Conway has been a high-profile member of the Upper House since 2011. Earlier today, Clare candidate Ann Marie Flanaghan, a social inclusion campaigner, bowed out on the sixth count for the Administrative Panel. Ms Flanagan, a Corofin native, polled 22 first preference votes and was on 25, 306 by count six. The Ennistymon resident had been nominated by the Living Movement Ireland In a Tweet following her elimination, Ms Flanagan said: “Very proud of the 1st preference, given I am an un-elected rural independent and female.” Yesterday (Thursday), both Timmy Dooley, former Fianna Fáil TD and Michael Vaughan, prominent Lahinch hotelier, were eliminated from the race for seats on the Industrial and Commercial Panel.   …

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€20m Seanad savings ‘a lie’ – Mulcahy

A CLARE senator has accused his party, and the Government, of lying to the electorate ahead of next Friday’s referendum. Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy said he will not be towing the party line in the referendum and will vote against the abolition of the Seanad. The Shannon man slated his party’s claim that the cost of the Seanad is €20 million per annum. Fine Gael states the figure is made up of Seanad members’ salary costs of €4.2m, members’ expenses of €2.5m, staff costs of €2.1m, indirect costs of €9.3m, including ICT at €1.9m, superintendent at €1.6m, procedural sections of €2.8m and other supports of €3m. There is a further cost of €2m in Seanad pensions. “The savings of €20m are a lie. My party aren’t telling the truth to the public. The savings are actually €8.6m and you have to divide that in half because you have to take out the USC (Universal Social Charge), the PRSI and …

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