Elisha McCallion, former Foyle MP elected to Seanad

Elisha McCallion Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Elisha McCallion lost her Foyle seat in December

Former Foyle MP Elisha McCallion has been elected to Seanad Éireann (Irish senate).

Mrs McCallion represented Foyle for Sinn Féin from 2017-19 and is a former Mayor of Derry and Strabane.

She was a candidate on the Industrial and Commercial Panel for election to the Seanad, the upper house of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament).

She lost her House of Commons seat to Colum Eastwood of the SDLP in the UK general election in December.

Mrs McCallion said she was “absolutely delighted” to have been elected.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure that the people of the north have another voice in the Oireachtas standing up for their interests,” she said.

She topped the poll after the first count, but had to wait until the 31st round to secure her seat.

Her immediate priority, she said, 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.”

Forty-three of the 60 seanad seats are decided through elections to five vocational panels, which represent various sections of society.

About 1,100 people, made up of TDs (members of the Irish parliament), outgoing senators, and county and city councillors, are eligible to vote.

The others are appointed by the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) and elected by graduates of the University of Dublin and the National University of Ireland.

Earlier, the first unionist ever to be elected to the Seanad lost his seat.