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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Seanad Bye-Election 10th October 2014 continued

A follow on from my blogpost on
Seanad Bye-Election 10th October 2014
as previous one got too long.

Updates below

List of Candidates
Seanad Bye-Election 2014 - List of Candidates published on the Oireachtas website.

Seanad General Election, July 2007 - Panels of candidates prepared by the Seanad Returning Officer pursuant to Section 43 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947, as amended by the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1954.

10.—Section 43 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion at the end of subsection (5) of “by notice containing a copy of the panels with the addition of a statement in respect of every person on any panel of the body or persons on whose nomination he was put on such panel”.

I had trouble opening it with Open Office so I uploaded it to google docs

Update 26th September
Provisional list of candidates for Seanad election was published 21 March 37 days before the election on the 27 April 2011 Oireachts.ie - Seanad General Election List of Candidates - 2011

I asked them to publish all the Oireachtas members who nominated each candidate. They only list 1 or 2 proposers (as at top of post).

The Assistant Seanad Returning Officer said.

The list of candidates, which I have sent you, indicates the name of Mr. McNulty's proposer. The Act requires the Returning Officer to publish the names of the four members of the Oireachtas who nominate a candidate for a general election. However, there is no corresponding provision in the Act that would permit the Returning Officer to publish the names of the members who assent to the nomination of a candidate for a Seanad bye-election.

Disappointed not to be told by Seanad who nominated each candidate including, 18 that nominated Gerard Craughwell, they could reveal themselves.

Which explains the two lead proposers for each of the two groups of nine.

Seanad Qualification

The Cultural and Educational Panel qualifications are sated in S.I. No. 116/2007 - Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Prescribed forms) (Amendment) Regulations 2007.

With regard to the qualifications referred to in sub-section (2) (c) of that section, Article 18 7 of the Constitution requires that the panels shall contain respectively the names of persons having knowledge and practical experience, of the following interests and services—

(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.

Note: 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.

The current Seanad Cultural and Education panel

NamePartyKnowledge and experience
Thomas ByrneFianna Fáillaw
Deirdre CluneFine Gaeleducation
John GilroyLabour Partynational language and culture
Michael MullinsFine Gaeleducation
Labhrás Ó MurchúFianna Fáilnational language and culture

Former Senator Deirdre Clune was elected an MEP in May and it is her seat that is to be filled in the bye-election.

Do the list of people who nominated a candidate get published?

I found many Seanad General Election reports which show who nominited each candidate and list the tabulated vote for general and bye-elections but none list who nominated who for bye-election.

Has anyone seen a completed nomination form is there copy of one out there?

S.I. No. 116/2007 - Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Prescribed forms) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 based on S.I. No. 360/1940 - Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Bye-Elections) Act, 1940.

Was elected in 2011 and the Office Seanad General Election report list the category of knowledge and Experience they were nominated under Seanad Results 2011 (.pdf page 52)

The Oireachtas website Seanadcount.ie also has the most recent results in excel spreadsheet .xls format.

In 2011 Seanad general election the Provisional list of candidates proposed by Members of the Oireachtas with the list of who nominated them was published on the 21st March 2011 the day the nominations closed 35 days before the election on the 27th April 2011.

Seanad Bye-election order 2014 (official Order), Minister annoucement on Dept of Environment and Local government website

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 a.m. on Friday 10 October 2014.

Terry Leyden on the Seanad election process.

John McNulty FG
His nomination form read "Businessman; board member of the Irish Museum of Modern Art" if he and his nominators feel he was otherwise qualified why cite a board position he had just days ago been appointed to.

Minister for Arts heritage and the Gaeltacht

A motion to suspend standing orders and invite the minister to explain herself was called and won on Tuesady evening. The debate in the Seanad is on this 221mb .wmv video file in the Oireachtas streaming archive. The transcript of the debate on the oireachtas debate record.

Minister Humphreys read a prepared statement an expansion of press release she had sent out yesterday, with alot of extarneous information and filibustering, opposition members asked her critical questions, her party colleagues praised her and read their briefings on John McNulty and then when there was hardly any time left, and the opposition demanded she answer their questions, the Minister re-read her prepared statement and answered no questions.

Seanad debate 23rd September 2014 video which I uploaded to my google drive to use its embeddable player.

The "Debate"
Senator Maurice Cummins
"two excellent people" "the two people concerned are very well qualified to be members of that board"
Senator Paul Coghlan
"two eminent appointments" "skills and experience of these two people"
Senator Martin Conway
"eminently qualified"

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys)
"considerable business experience"

As usual Marie Louis O'Donnell just expells nonsense and fluffery, she is a black hole of sense as she says We will all watch with great interest Mr. McNulty's contribution to the Irish Museum of Modern Art over the next five years on the IMMA board as Thomas Byrne as point out again he won't be on it in two weeks.

Labour board appointee
A labour councillor Jane Dillon-Byrne who lost her seat in 2014 Local Elections was appointed to the board of IMMA only some days or weeks later by the previous minister Jimmy Deenihan Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Appointments to State Boards 10 July 2014 . Was she qualified? or was it political patronage, or both? I believe she was an art student who was involved in and sat on many arts related boards before.

Irish Museum of Modern Art
Fiach Mac Conghail IND queried the number of members on the board. The number of board members reduced from 15 to 9 in recent years, yet Sheila O'Regan and John McNultys appointment raised the to 11 members. This is the list of board members I received on I received from
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

and the IMMA website has other details in its out of date list.

The following is a list of IMMA’s current board member:

Eoin McGonigal, SC, Chairperson, appointed in February 2000 and reappointed in June 2005 and in July 2010. Appointed Chairperson in December 2001.
Brendan Flynn, appointed in June 2005 and reappointed in January 2011.
Rowan Gillespie, appointed in January 2011.
Emma Goltz, Collector, appointed in November 2013.
Mary McCarthy, appointed in January 2011.
Brian McMahon, appointed in March 2009.
Dr Eimear O'Connor, appointed in February 2011.
Julie O'Neill, appointed in February 2010.
Brian Ranalow, appointed in June 2005 and reappointed in January 2011.

As stated in Independent political editor Fionnan Sheahan's article 26th September Kenny breaks own promise by putting crony in board seat.

I had found that the only mentioned of a reduced board is in a press release in Novemeber 2012 31/10/12 - Deenihan outlines reform actions for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht organisations,

National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery

The boards of the three institutions to be scaled back to a maximum of 9 members each, including the Chair (a reduction of the order of between 40 – 50 %).

Minister Heather Humphreys said in Seanad speech on the 23rd of September that
Legislation is required in order to reduce the number of members of the board, and this legislation is pending.

Programme for Legislation Autumn Session 2014 as published 17th September 2014. Legislation Programme Autumn 2014 PDF

Bills in respect of which heads have been agreed and texts are being drafted
Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Title of BillPurpose of BillStatus of Bill
32National Cultural Institutions (No. 1) BillTo revise and update the governance arrangements in regard to the National Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Crawford Art Gallery Cork, including shared services
Publication Expected - Late 2015

and the Dail record. Fiach Mac Conghail also said he thinks neither John McNulty or Sheila O'Regan are qualified for the board of IMMA. You can read their bios used in their apppointment press release.

The Department of Arts and Heritage did put out a call for expressions of interest for any vacancies arising (over the next 12 months) on the IMMA board and other Arts and Museum boards in May 2013 and May 2011, Dail PQ the board seemed to have already unofficially settled at 9 members ( even though officially there where 6 unfilled positions, no vacancies were filled, and its seems to me the last change before Jane Dillon Byrne was put on the board in May 2014 was when Emma Goltz (a collector) was appointed to the board in November 2013 to replace Eamon Delaney who's terms expired in May 2013.

Update 24th September
I finally got through to the company secretary of IMMA Frank Brennan I had to drag the membership of the board out of him (the company secretary). I read out the list of board members I had been given on Monday below and John McNulty and Sheila O'Regan names and he said they were all correct, that there were 11 members of the board currently and that Memo and Articles of the board hadn't yet been changed to make this a maximum of 9 not 15 as stated by the Department of the Arts. I asked if new members had to be installed in some official way or a board meeeting called, he said no that once the Ministers appoints somebody to the board they are on the board, yet he also said he only been informally notified of this that the company had been not yet formally notified. He said they had been told the names but I did not nail down exactly when they were told or what input they had.

I asked IMMA to send me an up-dated list of their board members and the list that Patricia White from IMMA's directors office sent me 2 days ago didn't even have the two new members on it, when they were appointed on the 12th of September. IMMA doesn't know who is on its board. Senator Thomas Byrne FF pointed out that the about page that has the out of date list of board members also says

The members of the Board and the Chairperson are artists and other people with an active interest and/or expertise in modern and contemporary art.

Thomas Byrne also pointed out that if he became a senator he would have to quit the board, meaning he would only serve a few weeks on it, ridiculous. I wondered where that rule was written down and @BrendanSol pointed me to National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997
Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament. 26.—(1) Where a member of a Board is— (a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann he or she shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Board.

Labour Seanad Leader Senator Ivana Bacik said that she didn't want to put responsibility on the Minister (Humphreys), Ivana Bacik thinks a minister shouldn't be responsible for her appointments. Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames asked whether Heather Humphreys knew he was going to a be the Fine Gael candidate for the Seanad when she appointed him, she didn't answer. The Donegal Democrat outlines the timeline of the appointment.

The county executive forwarded his name, along with some others, following a meeting in July. A number of candidates were then interviewed and an email was sent out to Fine Gael members last night (17th September) confirming that Mr McNulty would be the party’s nominee.

Gerard Craughwell IND
There is no Fianna Fail candidate for this Seanad bye-election so presumably a number of Fianna Fail TDs or Senators nominated Gerard Craughwell as well as presumably some Independents, I asked him to list who nominated him but he won't say. I may be wrong on this but its the only possible explaination for the lack of Fianna Fail party candidate that I can think of, Fianna Fail have 34 possible nominators for a candidate of their own. There are 33 Independents nominators across the Dail and Seanad.

It is good that he has put some attention on this process, you can read his statement of motivation, Gerard Craughwell's statement: Seanad by-election 2014 makes a mockery of democracy. I bet he didn't expect to be come across a stroke upon a stroke, this is astounding and beyond issues of hypocrisy in relation to Fianna Fail past. The only other nominee is a local councillor from Armagh Catherine Seeley Sinn Fein's nominee. FG's Seanad nominee given job on state board by Gavan Reilly 22nd Sep 2014.

Heather Humpreys
Heather Humphreys FG was in the bottom 10 of Dail speakers in last year according to Kildarestreet.com and my caluations, The Sunday Times also noted this in an article on the 24th of August 2012 called Silence is truely Golden in the Dail by Theresa Newman which was also based on Kildarstreet.com numbers and prompted me to gather and check them myself.

This is the Minsiter still speaking in filler sentences and mentally reading out her script in this video from Newstalks Richard Chambers when she was asked about why she appointed him by the media.

State Appointment Rules
Can not find master set of rules for appointment to state boards, where are they written down? State board code of Practice doesn't have much detail on appointment process. Many of the state board vacancy notices share the same language, "In making any Board appointments, the Minister will not necessarily be confined to those who make such expressions of interest".

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