Controversial Fine Gael city councillor Pádraig Conneely has his eye on a Seanad Éireann seat and is likely to be elected to the Upper House of the Oireachtas after the next election.
The election may come in 2012, it may come sooner, but either way a Conneely bid for the Seanad is to be expected and success is likely.
After his re-election to City Hall in last June’s Local Elections, Cllr Conneely declared he would be making a serious bid to be added to the FG Galway West ticket for the next general election.
While he will certainly put his name forward, he is unlikely to be added and it is understood FG HQ feels he may be a bit too ‘colourful’ to pull off gaining a Dáil seat. Cllr Conneely may know this which is why he is switching his attentions to the Seanad.
Cllr Conneely’s wit, outspokenness, combative nature, and sense of theatre would be better suited to the Seanad and for engaging in debates with other lively Seanad figures like David Norris and Shane Ross, rather than in the stuffy and more staid Dáil.
The electorate of the Seanad is largely made up of TDs, senators, and councillors and Cllr Conneely is well known among the FG members and, importantly, is well liked. He is also a member of the Association of Municipal Authorities Of Ireland and the Local Authorities Members Association, both of which increase his profile among councillors in the State and further extended the number of voters whom he knows and who know him.
He is in an enviable and strong position to take a Seanad seat next time out. Do not be surprised if, after 2012, or maybe even sooner, we are refering to him as Senator Conneely.