What happened to former Sinn Féin senator, Kathryn Reilly?

Wascurito

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She was elected to the Seanad in 2011 and straight away attracted attention for being precisely the sort of image that Sinn Féin needed to project more: young, female, articulate and being from Cavan, lacking that scary northern accent that frightens the south Dublin types (joke!).

In the marriage equality referendum in 2015, she was one of the few Cavan-Monaghan public representatives who openly supported the proposal**, a brave act in a constituency which voted 49% against it.

So, it made sense that she would join Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin on the ticket for the 2016 election in the hope that Sinn Féin would pick up two seats, effectively one from each county. However, boundary changes had hived a huge chunk of Cavan off too another constituency and with the number of seats being reduced from 5 to 4, she was up against it.

Also, Monaghan voters are notorious for keeping their transfers "within the county" so in the heel of the hunt, she didn't get elected. It was widely expected that she'd return to the Seanad but events in Donegal intervened at that stage.

Sinn Féin had decided for some reason to stand no fewer than three TDs (in a 5 seat constituency!), splitting their vote disastrously (only Doherty was returned) and leading to the elimination of long-standing member, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. So, when it came to the post-election looking-after-the-fallen exercise that is too often the Seanad election, Mac Lochlainn was front of the queue if only out of a sense of guilt by the SF Ard-Comhairle and was duly chosen before Kathryn Reilly.

A Wikipedia page claims that in "March 2016 [Kathryn Reilly] confirmed her intention not to run for re-election to the Seanad". The news reports show this not to be the case. She did want to be re-elected, wasn't selected and the last word on the story has her claiming to having been "cast aside" by Sinn Féin.

She's still on Twitter where she describes herself as "a Former Oireachtas inhabitant" but makes no reference to her 5 years as a Sinn Féin senator. She has been making admiring comments about the Labour party leader, saying that she's "really impressed by Brendan Howlin's speech delivery and style of leaders speech" and that "it's actually quite engrossing". Whether she has any remaining ties to Sinn Féin is unclear.

**For the record, the sitting SF TD (Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin) did too as did (to a lesser extent) Joe O'Reilly of FG. The Fianna Fáilers did their two-faced gombeen act that they do so well.
 


Eoin Coir

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O Caolain is supposed to be retiring at next election. She would normally be expected to fill his shoes, but fact that SF dumped her from senate is not a good omen
 

devoutcapitalist

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O Caolain is supposed to be retiring at next election. She would normally be expected to fill his shoes, but fact that SF dumped her from senate is not a good omen
O'Caolain is Monaghan based, surely SF will choose a Monaghan based replacement.
 

OldHat

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She most likely realises there is no real future prospect chasing a SF seat in Cavan/Mon.
If CO'C retires SF will chose a Monaghan based candidate to replace him and there really is no prospect of a 2nd seat in a constituency where SF are the 3rd biggest party and not making any inroads.
 

Fullforward

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.. and being from Cavan, lacking that scary northern accent that frightens the south Dublin types (joke!).
Cavan................Deep in the heart of the South. petunia
 

ON THE ONE ROAD

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She most likely realises there is no real future prospect chasing a SF seat in Cavan/Mon.
If CO'C retires SF will chose a Monaghan based candidate to replace him and there really is no prospect of a 2nd seat in a constituency where SF are the 3rd biggest party and not making any inroads.
op has an article suggesting she didn't get the nomination to go for the seanad for SF. For what ever reasons. Such is parliamentary party politics.

what seanad panel was she elected on and which shinner in this term was elected on that panel?
 

Fullforward

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She was elected to the Seanad in 2011 and straight away attracted attention for being precisely the sort of image that Sinn Féin needed to project more: young, female, articulate and being from Cavan, lacking that scary northern accent that frightens the south Dublin types (joke!).

In the marriage equality referendum in 2015, she was one of the few Cavan-Monaghan public representatives who openly supported the proposal**, a brave act in a constituency which voted 49% against it.

So, it made sense that she would join Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin on the ticket for the 2016 election in the hope that Sinn Féin would pick up two seats, effectively one from each county. However, boundary changes had hived a huge chunk of Cavan off too another constituency and with the number of seats being reduced from 5 to 4, she was up against it.

Also, Monaghan voters are notorious for keeping their transfers "within the county" so in the heel of the hunt, she didn't get elected. It was widely expected that she'd return to the Seanad but events in Donegal intervened at that stage.

Sinn Féin had decided for some reason to stand no fewer than three TDs (in a 5 seat constituency!), splitting their vote disastrously (only Doherty was returned) and leading to the elimination of long-standing member, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. So, when it came to the post-election looking-after-the-fallen exercise that is too often the Seanad election, Mac Lochlainn was front of the queue if only out of a sense of guilt by the SF Ard-Comhairle and was duly chosen before Kathryn Reilly.

A Wikipedia page claims that in "March 2016 [Kathryn Reilly] confirmed her intention not to run for re-election to the Seanad". The news reports show this not to be the case. She did want to be re-elected, wasn't selected and the last word on the story has her claiming to having been "cast aside" by Sinn Féin.

She's still on Twitter where she describes herself as "a Former Oireachtas inhabitant" but makes no reference to her 5 years as a Sinn Féin senator. She has been making admiring comments about the Labour party leader, saying that she's "really impressed by Brendan Howlin's speech delivery and style of leaders speech" and that "it's actually quite engrossing". Whether she has any remaining ties to Sinn Féin is unclear.

**For the record, the sitting SF TD (Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin) did too as did (to a lesser extent) Joe O'Reilly of FG. The Fianna Fáilers did their two-faced gombeen act that they do so well.
Good move by Sinn Fein,limited number of Senate seats available to them and that moves assists in securing the 2nd seat in Donegal. There is no chance of a 2nd seat in Cavan / Monaghan. Makes sense.
 

Fullforward

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op has an article suggesting she didn't get the nomination to go for the seanad for SF. For what ever reasons. Such is parliamentary party politics.

what seanad panel was she elected on and which shinner in this term was elected on that panel?
Industrial and Commercial panel and Padraig MacLochlainn replaced her.
 

automaticforthepeople

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But SF nominated a young fellow who warbles with the Wolfe Tones and another who lives in Belmullet. Have these a better chance of being elected to the Dáil than Reilly?

Some how I doubt it.
 

Wascurito

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O Caolain is supposed to be retiring at next election. She would normally be expected to fill his shoes, but fact that SF dumped her from senate is not a good omen
Indeed....and if they're looking for someone from Cavan (big if!), councillor Eugene Greenan would be more in the running now, I think.
 

jackryan

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She got two chances! Failed! Most parties should do it especially as she got to be a sen! Only thing that is funny is that guy in galway hasn't been slashed! Donegal is down to over expectations!
 

Wascurito

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According to her Twitter profile, Reilly is now working for the Irish Heart Foundation.
Good spot. That would suggest she's broken with party politics for now but at least she has a job.

She strongly supports the Repeal the 8th campaign so that would be a route back to where she was.
 

Wascurito

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She most likely realises there is no real future prospect chasing a SF seat in Cavan/Mon.
If CO'C retires SF will chose a Monaghan based candidate to replace him and there really is no prospect of a 2nd seat in a constituency where SF are the 3rd biggest party and not making any inroads.
Her best bet might be the Seanad again and - if she has any relationship with SF - that might still be open to her.

I wonder would Mac Lochlainn not head back to Donegal when the next election strikes.
 

Wascurito

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Cavan................Deep in the heart of the South. petunia
People in the Cavan panhandle sound far more northern than the rest of the county. She's from south/south-east Cavan and the accent is a lot closer to Meath. Her years studying in Dublin has probably softened that further.
 


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