The deadline for nominations for election to the five vocational interest panels in the Seanad has passed.

Fianna Fáil has announced it is putting forward nine outgoing Oireachtas members to run in the Seanad election campaign. 

It includes six former TDs who lost their seats in the last election - Lisa Chambers, Declan Breathnach, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells and Eugene Murphy. 

Former Senators Lorraine Clifford-Lee and Diarmuid Wilson have been nominated to the Administrative Panel and Catherine Ardagh has been nominated to the Industrial and Commercial Panel. 

Candidates must have signatures on their nomination papers from four TDs or Senators in order to be a party nominee.

Director of Elections, Deputy Robert Troy said, "We have worked hard to ensure that we have a geographically well-placed panel which will represent the widest electorate. 

He said: "All of our candidates, many of whom are experienced public representatives, will complement the hard work already undertaken by our TDs across the country.

Meanwhile, Former Clare TD Timmy Dooley secured an outside nomination for the Industrial and Commercial panel.

He said: "It's a mammoth task to travel the country to get to the 26 counties and meet the councillors. I've been on the road for two weeks enjoying engagement with councillors who have great political insight."

Malcolm Byrne, who lost his seat in Wexford in the General Election, secured a nomination on the Cultural and Educational panel. 

Former Kildare South TD Fiona O'Loughlin is contesting for a seat on the Administrative panel and former Cork East TD Kevin O’Keeffe is hoping to get a seat on the Agricultural panel.


Read more:

Seanad elections - everything you need to know


In 2013, the Fine Gael and Labour coalition put a proposal to abolish the Seanad to the people in a referendum which was narrowly defeated.

Fianna Fáil was the only party to oppose abolishing the Seanad in the referendum on the basis that Seanad reform was necessary. 

The Fianna Fail candidates were finalised following a midday deadline for nominations. 

An election to fill the 60 seats in the upper house of the Oireachtas must be carried out no later than 90 days after the dissolution of the Dáil, which this year happened on 9 January in advance of the General Election.  

The Green Party has selected three candidates for the upcoming elections.

Councillor Pauline O'Reilly will represent the party on the Labour panel, Senator Pippa Hackett will run on the Agriculture panel and Saoirse McHugh will run on the Cultural and Educational panel.

Cllr O'Reilly is a member of Galway City Council, while Senator Hackett was a candidate for the party in the recent General Election in Laois-Offaly.

Ms McHugh has been a Green Party candidate in last year's European Parliament elections and this year's General Election where she stood in Mayo.

Aontú has announced that Paul Lawless has also been nominated to contest the elections on the Cultural and Education panel.

In a statement party leader Peadar Tóibín said he had no doubt that Mr Lawless's "energy, experience and perspective will add significantly to the next Seanad".