Category: Archive

Stepping forward

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

O’Hanlon, who is senior editor at this newspaper, said last night he would allow his name to go forward in the by-election expected when Fine Gael’s Jim Higgins steps down later this year.
Higgins was elected to the European Parliament in June 2004, and said he would gladly relinquish his seat in the Seanad for someone who would represent Ireland’s emigrants abroad.
The move, which was hailed as compassionate and principled, was effectively put on hold for 18 months because of the possibility of broader Seanad reform. But it is now clear that any such reforms will not come into place before the full general election, due by mid-2007.
Meanwhile, Jim Higgins has made it clear his offer remains on the table, if qualified candidates present themselves from the Irish overseas, he will give up his Seanad seat.
O’Hanlon’s stature as a candidate — an emigrant since the 1980s himself, he has chronicled the lives of the Irish overseas as a reporter, commentator and author — will hearten Higgins.
With Fine Gael stepping aside for an

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