Feb 17, 2020

Trinity Seanad Candidate Hugo MacNeill Quits Goldman Sachs

The Irish Times has reported that there is no plan for the former rugby player to resume his role, even if he's not elected.

Emer MoreauNews Editor
Alex Connolly for The University Times

Hugo MacNeill, recently announced as a candidate for the Seanad in the University of Dublin constituency, has stepped down from his role in investment bank Goldman Sachs, the Irish Times reported today.

The former rugby international is stepping back from the firm in order to obey Goldman Sachs policy on employees running for political office, people close to MacNeill confirmed to the Irish Times.

MacNeill, who won 37 caps for Ireland, currently works with the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities. There are no plans for him return to the firm even if his campaign is successful, the Irish Times reported. Nobody is taking his place on a permanent basis, but the firm will continue to provide support for its Irish clients from London.


MacNeill, who has lived in London since 2001, had been considering leaving Goldman Sachs, but decided instead to take up a role as principal deal broker on the ground in Dublin. He was involved in many high-profile deals over the past two decades, including the Aer Lingus initial public offering and on one of the two Eircom IPOs. Last year, the Irish Times reported that MacNeill was a member the Knights of the Campanile, an all-male sporting society in Trinity that was implicated in on-campus hazing last March.

Alongside MacNeill, nine people are contesting the three seats in the University of Dublin constituency for the Seanad elections. The three outgoing holders of the seats, Ivana Bacik, David Norris and Lynn Ruane, are all running.

Norris is the longest-serving senator on the panel, while Bacik is Reid Professor of Criminal Law in the Law School, and is also a former president of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). Ruane, who was elected to the Seanad in 2016 while serving as TCDSU president, will run again for a seat.

Bacik and Ruane are the only two women running for election.

Abbas Ali O’Shea, the director of educational organisation AFA Consultancy, will also contest the seats, as will Tom Clonan, a retired Irish army captain and academic who revealed a catalogue of discrimination against female soldiers in Ireland’s defence forces. Clonan ran unsuccessfully in 2016.

William Priestley, a director of Our Lady of Lourdes Community Services Group, will run again after losing out in 2016. John Derek Byrne, a lecturer in addiction studies in Maynooth University, has also announced his candidacy, with engineer Keith Scanlon completing the lineup.

Polls close at 11am on March 31st. The count will then take place in the Public Theatre, known as the Exam Hall, in Front Square.

Only graduates of Trinity can vote in the University of Dublin constituency. Earlier this month, The University Times reported that students who graduated in 2019 will not be able to vote, as the register of electors for the Seanad will only be updated on June 1st, 2019.

Ballot papers are to be issued via post to those registered in the constituency on February 28th.

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