Sinn Féin councillor Fintan Warfield has become the first candidate elected to the new Seanad.
Warfield , a councillor for Templeogue-Terenure in Dublin, was elected on the first count, reports RTÉ. He will sit on the Cultural and Educational panel alongside former TDs Kieran O’Donnell and Gabrielle McFadden together with Fianna Fáil’s Lorraine Clifford-Lee and Keith Swanick.
Openly gay Warfield told the Irish Times that he was “delighted and relieved” at his election.
“It is a real opportunity for young voices in Seanad Éireann and a voice for the LGBT community, and particularly for transgender people who have been left behind in more recent developments.”
Last month, Warfield told GCN that he would use his activism to “progress inclusion and equality”.
“LGBT rights in Ireland are entering a new phase, he said in April’s GCN. “Our struggle post referendum demands the prooritisation of heathcare, tackling homophobia, the blood band, rural isolation and domestic violence.”
He also said that if elected, he would “immediately move to prioritise trans young people.”
“The lack of state recognition of our young people is a major contributing factor to marginalisation, and it is an urgent health and human rights issue.”
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.