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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Seanad By-Election 2015: Mairia Cahill Nomination and Qualifications for the Seanad

Senator Jimmy Harte

In November 2013 Labour Senator Jimmy Harte had a fall and unfortunately could not return to the Seanad.

Labour senator Jimmy Harte in critical condition in hospital Independent 16/11/2013

Cathaoirleach of Seanad Paddy Burke informs the House of the resignation of Senator Jimmy Harte. Seanad debates Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Resignation of Member Before I call the Leader on the Order of Business I wish to announce that I have received notice in writing from Senator Jimmy Harte of his resignation as a Member of Seanad Éireann. I wish to thank Senator Harte for his co-operation and assistance during his time as a Member of the House and I wish him well in the future.

'Miracle' recovery for Labour's Jimmy Harte Greg Harkin and Kevin Doyle Independent 26/09/2015

Tradition has it that Labour seat is replaced by Labour candidate, and Labour's coalition partners will vote for any Labour candidate, unless like in John McNulty's case his/her qualifications are questioned.

Announcement

On the fourth of October it was reported by Martina Fitzgerald of RTE News that Joan Burton was proposing Maria Cahill as the Labour party candidate for the Seanad bye-election.


Mairia Cahill proposed by Labour leaders for Seanad by-election RTE News 03/10/2015

Joan Burton informs party of Mairia Cahill nomination The Labour Party Facebook 03/10/2015
I am contacting you to inform you that as Leader of the Labour Party, I am nominating - and Deputy Leader Alan Kelly is seconding - Mairia Cahill to be our candidate in the upcoming bye-election to Seanad Eireann.
Mairia Cahill is an excellent candidate for Seanad Eireann. She has joined our party and is committed to supporting our work inside and outside the Oireachtas. She is a person of depth and broad experience. She is seeking to serve on the Industrial and Commercial Panel and is suitably qualified, having a background in youth employment, activation, and community enterprise.
Kelly welcomes Mairia Cahill to Labour Party Alan Kelly TD 4 October 2015
I am delighted that Mairia Cahill has taken up an invitation to join the Labour Party and to seek nomination to contest the upcoming bye-election to Seanad Eireann.

I am proud to support her candidacy and am formally seconding her nomination following Party Leader Joan Burton's proposal. Mairia is a qualified candidate for the Industrial and Commercial Panel given her background in community development, employment, and activation.

Mairia Cahill: My abuse will never define me...and Seanad nomination is proof of that Sunday Independent Mairia Cahill 04/10/2015
For anyone who knows me personally, politics is a natural progression. As someone who grew up in the highly politicised west Belfast, who took Politics for A Level, who worked within the field, and who consistently has worked in the community sector in order to help empower people to change their lives for the better, the politics of social democracy is one which attracts - because I have seen in action how it can work.

Maíria Cahill – A statement Slugger O'Toole 26 October 2014
I have long moved on from involvement in any political activism.

Nomination
Mairia Cahill confirmed as Labour Seanad candidate 7 October 2015
Mairia Cahill has been confirmed as Labour Party candidate to contest the by election for the Industrial and Commercial in Seanad Éireann caused by the retirement of Jimmy Harte.

At the close of nominations yesterday one valid nomination was received. Mairia Cahill was proposed by Party Leader, Joan Burton TD, and seconded by Deputy Party Leader, Alan Kelly TD.

As Maria Cahill is the only candidate nominated, a joint meeting of the Central Council and Labour Parliamentary Party to select the Party's candidate for the by election is not now required, and she is formally nominated the Labour Candidate

Nominated by the party leader and deputy leader, no contest within the Labour Party.

Mairia Cahill said: “I would like to thank Joan Burton, Alan Kelly and the Labour Party for putting me forward as a candidate for the Seanad Eireann by-election.

“In particular, I believe that as a member of the Industrial and Commercial Panel, I will be able to bring to bear, my experience in local and community enterprises since 1998.

“I have relevant experience serving as a Company Director and Secretary on a number of community employment and regeneration projects in Belfast, as well as experience working in a family-run business. I hope to use the knowledge I gained on these emphasising the need to get young people into work, and at the activation measures required to assist them.

Seanad By-election Order
Minister Kelly Signs Seanad Bye-Election Order Department of Environment, Local government 02/10/15
Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government announced today (30 September, 2015) that he has made an order directing that a bye-election be held to fill the vacancy in the Seanad caused by the resignation of Senator Jimmy Harte.

Senator Harte was elected from the Oireachtas Sub-Panel of the Industrial and Commercial Panel at the Seanad General Election in April 2011.

The last day for receiving nominations at the bye-election will be 15 October, 2015 at 12 noon. The Seanad Returning Officer will sit for the ruling on nominations on 23 October, 2015. Ballot papers will be issued on 30 October, 2015 and the poll will close at 11 a.m. on 13 November, 2015.

The electorate at the bye-election will be the members of Dáil Eireann and Seanad Éireann.

As published in Iris Oifiguil the state gazette.

How the Seanad is Elected - Department of Environment, Local Government
Seanad Éireann Electoral Process Infographic Library & Research Service 2015
Library & Research Service Note


Vocational Panel
The Seanad is the Upper house of the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas. It has 60 members elected either by nominating bodies, other TDs, Senators and local councillors, or by appointment by the Taoiseach.

Those elected are nominated to 6 panels based on vocations, Administrative Panel, Agricultural Panel, Cultural and Educational Panel, Industrial and Commercial Panel, Labour Panel.

Industrial and Commercial Panel Wikipedia.

Its meant to be a house of people with knowledge and experience in varying areas to review legislation and bring their expertise to the Seanad and Joint Oireachtas Committees, but it mostly used by political partys to give prominence to failed/future Dail election candidates.

Constitution of Ireland

7 1° Before each general election of the members of Seanad Éireann to be elected from panels of candidates, five panels of candidates shall be formed in the manner provided by law containing respectively the names of persons having knowledge and practical experience of the following interests and services, namely:–
iv Industry and Commerce, including banking, finance, accountancy, engineering and architecture;

Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947
the expression “the industrial and commercial panel” means the panel required by the said subsection 1° to contain the names of persons having knowledge and practical experience of the following interests and services, namely, industry and commerce, including banking, finance, accountancy, engineering, and architecture;

S.I. No. 91/1954 - Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Prescribed Forms) Regulations, 1954.

The current members of the Industry and Commerce panel are Averil Power Ind (ex FF), Mary M White FF, Marc MacSharry FF, Imelda Henry FG, Paul Coghlan FG, Colm Burke FG, Kathryn Reilly SF, Catherine Noone FG. Looking at the qualification (sheet8) Oireachtas Sub-Panel members of the Industry and Commerce, although maybe looking at a low bar because all 3 were failed election candidates at the preceding general election.
Jimmy Harte UCD BA Pyschology,Insurance Broker, Councillor, son of a TD, Councillor, GE canddiate for FG,IND,LP Source
Averil Power TCD, BA Business,Dip Kings Inn,parliamentary assistant, special adviser Dept of Social/Education, GE canddiate for FF Source
Kathryn Reilly DCU BA Economics,UCD MEconSc in European Economic, parliamentary assistant, GE canddiate for SF Source

Jerry Beades

Debt campaigner Beades goes for the Senate Maeve Sheehan Sunday Independent 11/10/2015
Developer and former member of the Fianna Fail National Executive announced in open letter to Mairia Cahill that he was running for the Seanad Bye-Election and has one Oireachtas member Senator David Norris, was willing to nominate him, he needs 8 more. David Norris 28 May 2009 Mr. Jerry Beades, who is a Fianna Fail builder and a decent man as far as I know.

Beades Frank Connolly Village Magazine 1 June, 2015

Scrutiny
The Seanad Returning Officer will sit for the ruling on nominations on 23 October, 2015 Minister Kelly Signs Seanad Bye-Election Order Department of Environment, Local government 02/10/15

Final adjudicated by a High Court Judge as in Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947, Section 38.

The judicial referee at completion of panels.

38.—(1) The President of the High Court or some other judge of the High Court nominated by him shall attend at the completion of the panels and there sit and act as judicial referee.

(2) The Seanad returning officer may, on his own motion, and shall, if so requested by any person whose name is on a provisional sub-panel for the time being under consideration or by the agent of any such person, refer to the judicial referee any question arising during the completion of the panels in relation to any nomination paper, the nomination of any person to a panel, the qualifications of any person for a panel, the statement by the Seanad returning officer of such qualification, or any other matter connected with the provisional panels.

(3) The judicial referee shall there and then decide and announce his decision on every question referred to him under this section by the Seanad returning officer.

(4) The decision of the judicial referee on any question referred to him under this section by the Seanad returning officer shall be final and conclusive and shall not be open to review by any court.

(5) A question may be referred to the judicial referee under this section whether the Seanad returning officer has or has not himself given a decision thereon.

The Seanad Clerk and Justice, accepted week old stateboard appointment by the Minister for Arts as legitimate qualification for the 2014 Seanad Educatioanl and Cultural Panel Bye-election, the same Seanad Clerk wll be reviewings 2015's candidates along with a similar qualified judge as last year, I don't trust it, do you?


Qualifications

In the run up to the 2014 bye-election TheJournal's Hugh O'Connell was first to interview now Senator Gerard Craughwell This man wants to stop the ‘silly charade’ and run for the Seanad Aug 8th 2014. I asked him to publish his CV. He was running for the 2014 Seanad Bye election Cultural and Educational panel.


Gerard Craughwell's CV published September 18, 2014.

I searched for times when the Seanad Clerk queried qualifications for panels.
Kathy Sinott in 2002. Disability rights campaigner to run for Seanad. She as allowed run for the Labour Panel. Thomas Byrne in 2011, who wasn't allowed run for the agriculture panel so he ran for Educational and Cultural panel based on his legal qualifications.


Mairia Cahill is hiding behind process and the party unnecessarily and disappointingly, just like John McNulty.

I asked Mairia Cahill if she would publish her CV. She refused. She said bizarrely it was up to Labour, why? She's her own person, its her CV, its up to her publish it herself.

So I gave up expecting answers from her and checked Linkedin and found her Linkedin profile.



She published her education and work history online at some point in 2015, but when she decided to run for public office she deleted it...


She claimed she deleted it because it was out of date. If its out of date, update it, thats what Linkedin is for.

I didn't save it but somebody got a full screengrab.

Education
The University of Dundee
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Professional Development
2005 – 2007
University of Ulster

Dip.Cllg, Counselling

2004 – 2006
Her periods of education aren't all clear, her explanation. Mairia Cahill: My abuse will never define me...and Seanad nomination is proof of that Sunday Independent Mairia Cahill 04/10/2015
"I started my first degree at Queens...I had to drop out."

Employment
Her longest job has been working for the Probation Services Office (previously as an admin). Presumably her duties include helping those on probation get jobs, which is what she means by 'activation'.

It is mentioned that she is a probation worker in this UCC Express interview but no where else, I could find, I honestly never heard exactly what she did before other then 'community worker'.

He also said she has experience working in her family run business I have not been able to find out what that is. Her mother worked in a school.

Directorships
I have relevant experience serving as a Company Director and Secretary on a number of community employment and regeneration projects in Belfast
Labour party 04/10/2015

Mairia Cahill's DueDil Profile

Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project Director 07 Sep 2009 — 04 Oct 2012 (3 years, 27 days) Retired

Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project Limited described a lettings company 'A local inter-community business stimulating and promoting economic and social regeneration' has had 50 directors since 2000.

Lenadoon Community Forum Director 12 Nov 2010 — 09 Nov 2011 (11 months, 27 days) Retired
Lenadoon Community Forum a Training for Employment Project
Map — Cluster 1: Suffolk-Lenadoon Belfast Interface Project funded by Atlantic Philanthropies. Atlantic Philanthropies Lendadoon Grants

Mairia Cahill deleted Linkedin profile.


Qualifications Criteria Reform
The Working Group on Seanad Reform suggested changes to the qualifications criteria, they don't apply now, but there are not radical and could be a guide to making a judgement about this by-election's candidates qualifications. Final Seanad Reform Report
The Working Group recommends that the level of knowledge and practical experience required by the constitution be defined in legislation.

Legal Issues Concerning Reform Of Seanad Franchise And Nominations - Michael McDowell Feb 2015.
It is constitutionally open to the Oireachtas to enact a law for the formation of panels under Article 18.7.1 fora process where, on objective criteria, the nomination of a candidate required that the candidate requiredsignificant degree of knowledge and a significant degree of practical experience of one, some or all of the“interests and services” to which the panel relates, rather than simply “some knowledge and some practicalexperience”,

It is also open to the Oireachtas by law to:
(a) establish objective minimum standards both of knowledge and of practical experience of the relevant“interests and services” to be eligible for nomination and

(b) establish a body capable of deciding whether any particular nominee satisfies such standards.


WGSR Draft Bill
11. Knowledge and practical experience.
Part IV of the Act of 1947 is amended in Chapter II by inserting the following before section 25 -

“Knowledge and practical experience.
24A.
(1) This section gives further effect to the requirement set out in Article 18.7 of the Constitution which requires a person seeking to be a candidate in a Seanad general election to have knowledge and practical experience of the interests and services pertaining to the constituency in respect of which he or she is seeking to be elected.
(2) The requirement that a person mentioned in subsection (1) have knowledge and practical experience of the interests and services pertaining to the constituency in respect of which he or she is seeking to be elected may be met by establishing to the satisfaction of a judicial referee that he or she has-
(i)
(a) attained a formal qualification, or
(b) through several years of work experience, has attained a level of knowledge which can be regarding as being equivalent to a formal qualification, in a field which is of direct relevance to the constituency in respect of which he or she is seeking to become a candidate, and
(ii) has verifiable practical experience which is of direct relevance to the constituency in respect of which he or she is seeking to become a candidate.
(3) Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (1), persons seeking nomination to the–
...
(d) industrial and commercial constituency shall, to the satisfaction of the judicial assessor, demonstrate knowledge and practical experience of the following
interests and services, namely, industry and commerce, including banking, finance, accountancy, engineering, and architecture;
...
(5) A person who has previously served as a member of the Seanad shall be deemed to meet the knowledge and practical experience requirements of Article
18.7 of the Constitution and therefore subsections (2), (3) and (4) shall not apply in respect of the nomination of such persons.
(6) The Seanad Electoral Commission, having consulted with the Minister for Justice, shall appoint a serving or former Judge of the Superior Courts to serve as a judicial assessor for the purpose of this section.
(7) In order to be eligible for inclusion in a replacement candidates list provided for under section 57, a person shall satisfy the requirements of this section


Links
Seanad bye-election 2014
Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947, Section 3
S.I. No. 91/1954 - Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Prescribed Forms) Regulations, 1954.
How the Seanad is Elected - Department of Environment, Local Government

2 comments:

Ulick said...

The radio station job probably still has no relevance to the panel but for the record Féile FM was only on air for 7-10 days per year.

Steve White said...

thanks Ulick, I knew it was connected with the festival, but I thought it had gone beyond that, i'll rewrite that.