Apr 1, 2020

Lynn Ruane Wins Trinity’s Last Seanad Seat, Elected on Eighth Count

Ruane’s election means all three incumbents in the University of Dublin constituency retained their seats.

Cormac Watson and Donal MacNamee
Anna Moran for The University Times

Senator Lynn Ruane has filled the third seat in Trinity’s Seanad constituency, confirming her re-election after meeting quota on the eighth count.

Ruane, who was first elected in 2016, took the final seat in Trinity’s constituency with 4,072 votes, beating out Hugo MacNeill to the seat.

Returning officer Provost Patrick Prendergast made the announcement just after 10pm tonight, after Tom Clonan exited the race on the seventh count. His 1,722 votes were then re-allocated, with 724 going to Ruane and 619 going to MacNeill.


MacNeill, a former rugby international and boss of Goldman Sachs Ireland, finished with 2,961 votes, in a race that saw all three incumbents re-elected.

Ruane joins Ivana Bacik and David Norris again as Senators in the University of Dublin constituency, after a count that took place in a near-empty Business School in Trinity.

Speaking to The University Times after her election, Ruane said: “I’m obviously honoured but I’m extremely humbled and excited and a real mix of emotions.”

She said receiving an endorsement – through her election – from voters “adds to my confidence and ability to go in and continue doing what I’ve been doing and add to what I’ve been doing”.

Norris, a sitting Senator since 1987, was elected on the fourth count with 3,768 votes. Bacik, who was first elected to the Seanad in 2007, followed in the sixth count with 3,963 votes.

Ruane won her seat in the Seanad in 2016 while still serving as president of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). Then, she defeated incumbent Sean Barrett in a race that went to the 15th count, securing 3,344 votes – just 116 more than Barrett.

In 2015, Ruane was elected president of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). She graduated from College with a degree in politics and philosophy after completing a year in the Trinity Access Programme.

As president she was involved in the Fossil Free TCD campaign, which led to College divesting from all oil and gas companies. She was also involved in the campaign to repeal the eighth amendment.

In 2018, she launched her autobiography – People Like Me – in Trinity, at an event chaired by Vincent Browne.

Prominent Irish feminist author Louise O’Neill wrote of the book – in a quote that appears on the cover – that it “could be the most important book you read in 2018”.

Correction: 23:07, April 1st, 2020
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Ruane was elected without reaching quota. In fact, Ruane did reach quota on the eighth count.

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