There was intense speculation this morning that Kilcar man John McNulty could take his seat in the Seanad if elected.
Overnight it emerged after an RTÉ poll that a considerable number of Oireachtas members had already cast their votes and that some members of the Fine Gael party were urging other party members to cast their votes in favour of the Kilcar man.
On RTÉ the Minister for the Environment , Alan Kelly TD, confirmed that many votes have already been cast for McNulty and that there was a real possibility that he will be elected to a seat in the Upper House.
Deputy Thomas Pringle said, “This has gone from fiasco to farce.
“If John McNulty takes this seat it really shows the type of stroke politics that Fine Gael is engaged in. They just don’t do it as well as Fianna Fáil.”
Mr. McNulty “withdrew” from the Seanad race on Tuesday last saying that it was his own decision and that the whole issue was distracting government from “the real issues”.
However, it has emerged that legally it is not possible to withdraw from the race; the only option in this case would be for Mr. McNulty to advise supporters not to vote for him.
It is understood that Mr. McNulty has been inundated with calls in recent days asking him to re-consider his position.
Speaking to the Donegal Democrat this morning former Ballyshannon Town Councillor Brendan Travers said, “If he is to win I would strongly ask him to consider holding on to his seat. Donegal needs another Oireachtas member.” Mr. Travers added that he wanted to see closure on this issue adding that Mr. McNulty was the victim in this controversy and that he was the best candidate by far. He added that McNulty was a close personal friend of his and that he had been instrumental in encouraging him to run for the County Council.
He concluded, “John is not commenting at the moment - I suppose the final decision will come down to the Fine Gael executive.”
Meanwhile Gerard Craughwell, who is also running in the by-election as an independent, says John McNulty would lose all his integrity if he accepted the seat.
In the overnight interview on RTÉ Mr. Craughwell added that he will be taking legal advice on the matter should Mr. McNulty win the election and take the seat.