Former MP Elisha McCallion elected to the 26th Seanad

Newly elected senator talks of cross-border workers' rights in Covid-19 crisis

Elisha McCallion

Former Derry Councillor, Mayor, MLA and MP Elisha McCallion can now add Senator to the list of titles as she has been elected to the 26th Seanad Éireann.

The Sinn Féin representative was up for election to the Seanad's Industrial & Commercial panel.

She topped the poll on the first count with 95,000 votes, 7,000 votes ahead of the nearest challenge Niall Ó’Tuathail of the Social Democrats - the quota was set at 113,501.

However, counting ran into the early hours of this morning before she was officially declared. 

Last December, in what was initially thought to be a tight race, the SDLP's Colum Eastwood won back the Foyle Westminster seat from Sinn Féin's Elisha McCallion with a huge majority.

On March 1, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald announced that Elisha McCallion would be one of the party’s candidates in the Seanad election.

Speaking after her election, Elisha McCallion voiced the need for the rights of cross-border workers to be protected during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Senator McCallion said: “I'm absolutely delighted to be elected to the Seanad and to be joining the biggest Sinn Féin electoral team across the island of Ireland.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that the people of the North have another voice in the Oireachtas standing up for their interests.

“Our immediate priority is dealing with the ongoing public health emergency and taking steps to protect the public right across the island and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“This is an unprecedented crisis and the necessary steps taken will undoubtedly have an impact on the lives of workers, families and local business.

"It’s vital that protections already put in place, including financial support for cross-border workers, are made available to workers who live in the north.

"Sinn Féin will continue to press the Irish Government for the extension of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment’ payment to workers here.” 

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