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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Seanad Bye-Election 10th October 2014

Updates below

An order has been made by the Minister for Environment and Local Government Alan Kelly for a Seanad Bye-Election will be held on Friday 10th October 2014 News - Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government to replace Deirde Clune MEP elected to the European Parliament in May.

Published on Friday 5th September 2014
Seanad Bye-Election to be held Friday 10 October 2014

Local Government Minister Alan Kelly announced that he has made an order directing that a bye-election be held to fill the vacancy in the Seanad caused by the election to the European Parliament of Senator Deirdre Clune.
Senator Clune was elected from the Oireachtas Sub-Panel of the Cultural and Educational Panel at the Seanad General Election in April 2011.
The last day for receiving nominations at the bye-election will be Thursday 18 September 2014 at 12 noon. The Seanad Returning Officer will sit for the ruling on nominations on Monday 22 September 2014. Ballot papers will be issued on Friday 26 September 2014 and the poll will close at 11 p.m. on Friday 10 October 2014.
The electorate at the bye-election will be the members of Dáil Eireann and Seanad Éireann.
Seanad Bye-Election to be held Friday 10 October 2014 « MerrionStreet.ie Irish Government News Service

Official Seanad bye-election order document

Only Oireachtas (Irish parliament) members can vote in Seanad Bye-elections and only Oireachtas members can nomination as this is Oireachtas panel position.

We all know that the Seanad is so often used by parties to give profile to a Dail election candidate and that Fine Gael are going to pick somebody and use the government majority to vote them through and Labour will support them on this.

The Indo speculated a while ago on who might be picked Kenny will move to fill Seanad seat as autumn by-elections loom - Independent.ie

A Challenger
Gerard Craughwell a teacher of IT at Further Education and former president of the Teachers Union of Ireland TUI and thejournal.ie says a former Fine Gael supporter.

This man wants to stop the ‘silly charade’ and run for the Seanad.

TUI could only endorse me as they cannot nominate for a Oireachtas sub-panel by-election endorsement letter from the TUI.

How often has there been competition from another government partner in an Oireachtas sub panel bye-election replacing a government party member, never.

Gerard Craughwell put a press release outlining his problems and motivatiosn re the Seanad bye-Election Gerard Craughwell's statement: Seanad by-election 2014 makes a mockery of democracy

Its a bit rambling, trying to narrow down the exact problem as he sees it,

A contest?
It is important to note, that by entering this by-election, I believe that I am entering a competition which is designed to ensure that no one, other than a nominee from larger partner in Government, Fine Gael, can win. Indeed not even a member of the Governments coalition partner, the Labour Party, can expect to be elected without the blessing of Fine Gael.

I have been researching Seanad bye-elections just to double check, to make sure, it is the case that government partners rarely contest Seanad bye-elections but decide before hand who they'll support, see Previous Seanad elections. Finding which party a candidate is a member of, to confirm the issue, is the most difficult part.

One could argue that the members of our City and County Councils through a democratic process elected Ms Clune a member of the Fine Gael party and as such this is a Fine Gael seat. However this argument fails its first test as in many cases the members of the City and County Councils who voted for Ms Clune have lost their seats.

Of course theres always been an element of Seanad elections that lag behind, as the previous seanad nominates and votes for the new see How the Seanad is elected.

Changes he wants.

I am calling on the Government, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government to open voting for this by-election to members of City and County Councils as a first step towards the reform that is badly needed for Seanad Éireann.

This seat is an Oireachtas sub panel seat so councillors would not be voting on such a seat in a Seanad general election either.

The constitution of Ireland does not seem to say anything about councillors electing Senators or anything specific about how casual vacancies should be filled. It just says
3° Casual vacancies in the number of the elected members of Seanad Éireann shall be filled in the manner provided by law.

The Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947 seems to be basis law for Seanad elections and S.I. No. 148/1949 - Seanad Bye-Elections (Panel Members) (Prescribed Forms) Regulations, 1949. bye elections.

Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947

Chapter III.
The Poll.
The electorate.
(c) the members of every council of a county or county borough.

I cannot yet find the specific law or regulation which states the electoral roll for Seanad bye-elections is Senator and TDs only.

Your new senator

john mcnulty | Donegal Daily

Donegal County Council 2014 Local Election Results. Electionsireland.org.

This seems to be creating a spread of candidates for Fine Gael in Donegal where Dinny Mcginley (Donegal South West) announced at the reshuffle he wasn't standing again Highland Radio – Latest Donegal News and Sport » Donegal Deputy Dinny McGinley announces he is to retire from politics and Joe McHugh (Donegal North East) was appointed a Minister for State in time for a most of Donegal to be merged into a 5 seater Donegal constituency for 2016. h/t @gavreilly and fionnansheahan. The 2014 Local Election results for Donegal via RTE shows they got 6 out of 37 councillors elected.

The red outline is the Donegal Constituency for general elections after 2014.

They’Ve Gone Gaa Gaa! Another Gaa Figure Joins Election Race | Donegal Daily

Actively involved in the GAA, John is manager of the Kilcar senior and U-21 football teams.

Short audio interview by Greg Hughes with John McNulty on Highland Radio after the news of is nominaton breaks.

Mc Nulty “honoured and delighted” following Seanad nomination

Nomination Qualifications

Deirde Cluine was elected to the Cultural and Educational Panel of the Seanad Gerarad Craughwell is questioning John McNulty's qualification for the panel, but we see from Seantor Thomas Byrne that people can be refused for a particular panel, but somehow he managened to make it work and become a senator.

A nominee must have knowledge and practical experience are of
Cultural and Educational Panel - national language and culture, literature, art, education, law and medicine.

Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Prescribed Forms)
(Amendment) Regulations 2007

(i) Cultural and Educational panel—
National Language and Culture, Literature, Art, Education and such professional interests as may be defined by law for the purpose of
this panel.

Professional interests for the purposes of this panel have been defined by law as—
(a) law, and
(b) medicine, including surgery, dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Guidebook How the Seanad is elected.

Is this still the basis for the application form.

S.I. No. 148/1949 - Seanad Bye-Elections (Panel Members) (Prescribed Forms) Regulations, 1949.

The Seanad Returning Officer will sit for the ruling on nominations on Monday 22 September 2014. News - Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government

Final adjudicated by a highcourt judge Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Bye-Elections) Act, 1940, Section 24

Gerard Craughwell has posted his CV for the public to see.

22nd September
So Gerard Craughwell submitted his nomination papers to the Seanad Returning officer (Clerk of the Seanad) today the 22nd of September and looked at what John McNulty had listed as his qualifications. The other nominee is Sinn Féin's Catherine Seeley.

He tweeted that his qualification stated he was a board member of IMMA (The Irish Museum of Modern Art), we both went to the imma.ie website to see who was on the board, his name was not there so I googled 'appointments+Irish Museum of Modern Arts' and found a Herald article about former Labour councillor Jane Dillon-Byrne who was being appointed to the board of IMMA in May, just after losing her council seat, I searched the Dail record which showed previous Minister, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan had indeed appointed her in May just before the cabinet reshuffle and summer parliament recess, which confirmed it officialy. IMMA's website did not list Jane Dillon Byrne as a board members so this confirmed the IMMA website was out of date. So I emailed and called IMMA and emailed the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht asking for an up to date list of board members for IMMA, I eventually got a reply from Patricia White from Director office at IMMA.

Please find attached the list of current Board Members of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2014)

Eoin McGonigal (Chairman)
Eimear O’Connor
Brendan Flynn
Julie O’Neill
Rowan Gillespie
Brian Ranalow
Mary McCarthy
*Emma Goltz
** Eamon Delaney
***Jane Dillon Byrne

∗ The following member was appointed:
E. Goltz Nov 2013

** The following member’s term of office expired:
E. Delaney May 2013

***The following member was appointed:
J. Dillon Byrne May 2014

John McNulty wasn't listed.

I sent this to Gerard Craughwell who meanwhile had checked with the Seanad returning officer who said she had confirmed that John McNulty was on the board of IMMA... we were confused and I asked the political correspondent for Today FM radio Gavan Reilly to check it out.

Then I got a reply from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht,

Following a visit to the Irish Museum of Modern Art last month, Minister Humphreys took a decision to make two appointments to the IMMA board to include representatives from the regions.
Minister Humphreys made the two appointments to the IMMA board on Friday September 12th - John Mc Nulty, Donegal and Sheila M O’Regan, Limerick.
There is no remuneration for board members.

Further information on board appointees:
John McNulty, Kilcar, Donegal, is a self-employed businessman who brings 15 years business experience to the IMMA board. He is involved in the local Tourism and Cultural committee in Kilcar and has a track record in promoting culture, heritage, the GAA and the Irish language.
John has been actively involved in local heritage events and heritage restoration projects in South Donegal, as well as festivals such as the Fleadh Ceol.
He is also currently driving a three year Irish language development plan for the area.

Sutnning! he confirmed that the qualifications that was listed on the Seanad nominations papers were 'board member of IMMA, businessman'. So a board position he had held for 10 days was listed as qualification for his nomination to the Seanad.

And IMMA didn't seem to know he was on their board.

P.S. "There is no remuneration for board members." There has been a lot of talk about people going on board for no money (or expenses), but you have to ask if they are not getting money what other benefit is it worth to them?

Previous Seanad Bye-Elections

I have been researching Seanad Bye-Elections which I've put in this google spreadsheet.

The details of the Seanad bye-elections are published at the end of the Seanad general election results reports, the Oireachtas website has them from 2002-2011 and the Oireachtas Library Service has scanned in some of the older results reports, I have listed the years I found here and in each of the Seanad term sheets.

I found most details from 1972 on, obviously government parties don't challenge each other and in a 225 electorate the government has the majority to elect who they want in agreement with any coalition partners they might have.

There's been by my count total of 39 Seanad Bye-elections in the Modern Seanad sine 1937. Held an average of 184 days after the event that caused them, mostly the death of a member or the need to replace amember who was elected to either the Dail in an bye-election or European parliament. Although there was some bye-elections, 13 I counted that were never held, for example the bye-elections to replace Pierce Doherty and Kieran Phelan were not held before the end of the last government even though they were needed a 100 days before its end, but the Taoiseach did manage to replace a 'Taoiseach nominees' later which he could do without an election. Several members of the Seanad will usually get elected to the Dail at the general election and be replaced in the Seanad general election within 90 days.

I found the average turnout for Seanad Bye-elections that involve just members of parliament voting since 1977 was 95%.

The full spreadsheets has more pages on the Seanad bye-elections during each Seanad term.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Proposed Aviation Fuel Pipeline from Dublin Port to Dublin Airport

Tthe plan for a aviation fuel pipeline from Dublin port to Dublin airport is being revived, it had got planning 2000 but shelved after 9/11 they say, ( did they really think people would stop flying?, or did plan make more sense before the Port Tunnel was open, certainly a pipeline is still more efficient and safer then trucks through a tunnel. )

Fuel pipeline to link Dublin port and airport

Independent Pipeline Company, is backed by Co Laois-based engineering concern Fingleton White, and Dublin-based fuel transporters Reynolds Logistics

Its relatively small pipeline but very long at about 10km in length across north Dublin from Dublin Port to Dublin Airport.

The pipeline is to be made of continuous welded steel and would have a diameter of 200mm with an outer wall of 12.7mm. It would be set in a trench 1.5m below the road, with 1.2m of cover.

Jet fuel pipeline proposal revived Sunday Times (paywall).

The project got planning approval in 2001 after appeals to An Bord Pleanala, but was not developed and the planning permit lapsed.

Underground fuel pipeline across city to airport gets nod 2001 Irish Independent.

They say its safer then trucks, there certainly an argument there, currently the fuel truck's route is mostly through the Port Tunnel onto the motorway to the Airport. Fuel truck fire in Port Tunnel sparks concern among hauliers.

There were some public information meetings in early September 2014. Did anyone else go to the public meeting, please comment below.

The practiced lobbiest of Clontarf Business and Residents association are keeping an on eye on it
Attention all Clontarf Residents - Aviation Fuel Pipeline

A pic of the route thanks to @niallgean

There a clearer map of the route in this article from the Irish Times.

Pipeline firm to meet backer’s costs if airport project goes ahead


The old proposal and route is here, via Fingleton White Pipelines Website it used to go along the Old swords road.

Evening Herald Article from 2009 Jet fuel pipeline through city plan is back on table.

There was Pre-Application Consultation in 2010 and decided it was not strategic infrastructure meaning no fast-track to An Board Pleanala by-passing the local councils.

Old planning appeal docs from 2000 worth a read as a summary of the arguements re safety.

It mentions a number of reports done on the proposal, the board appointed Michael Slattery report and the pipe builders Entec UK Ltd Report (December 1999). The Chief Fire officer also made a report (that made no objections to the proposal) Anybody have them and want to upload them.

at the time the main groups to makes submissions or objections were. a group called Drumconda 2005, Dublin Bay Watch, with observations from Brian Harmon and others,East Wall Residents Association, richard Bruton TD, Roisin Shorthall TD, Sean Haughey TD

Search for mentions of the project in the Parliamentary records

Old article from 1999 Irish Independent Anger at plan to run fuel line near houses