Enable Ireland's Candidates in the 2016 Seanad Elections | Enable Ireland


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Enable Ireland's Candidates in the 2016 Seanad Elections

Councillors, TD's and outgoing Senators are eligible to vote for Administrative Panel candidates in the upcoming Seanad elections. Please contact your local representatives and ask them to vote for John Dolan and Lorraine Dempsey, candidates nominated by a group of 10 voluntary and community groups. 

About the process of selecting the candidates

The candidates were nominated after an historic collaboration between ten of nominating bodies on the Administrative Panel, with the aim of nominating two Community and Voluntary sector representatives to contest the election.

An advertisement placed in the national media seeking applications from those with particular knowledge and practical experience of the Community and Voluntary sector. Following that, an Independent Selection Committee sent successful applicants forward for a selection process in which each of the boards of nominating bodies voted.  Mr John Dolan and Ms Lorraine Dempsey each received five nominations and so, went forward as candidates. 

Here’s a little bit more information about each candidate. 

Lorraine Dempsey:


Lorraine Dempsey

Lorraine has a child with Cerebral Palsy who attends Enable Ireland services in Bray and was on the Board of Management of Marino Community Special School, of which Enable Ireland is Patron.

Lorraine is a nurse by profession, and the mother of four girls, one of whom was born with serious and life limiting complications at birth. She is currently chairperson of the Special Needs Parents Association, having become involved with the organisation in 2010. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Genetic and Rare Disorders Organisation and of Inclusion Ireland. 

Lorraine’s official Seanad Election leaflet details three issues that she would concentrate on should she be elected:

Equality and Fairness
Where there are glaring gaps in legislation that impact on people’s lives, or proposed legislation that is not disability and equality proofed, I will be an effective voice for channelling the concerns of people with disabilities and families to create a fairer and equal society.

As a voice for people with disabilities and families in the Seanad, I will press the Government to deliver the roadmap for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and ensure it’s implemented and monitored. I will seek to amend the Health Act in relation to Medical Card Scheme and call for a Cost of Disability Commission and Direct Payments.

Full enactment of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. Establishment of an Independent Appeals Board for Department of Education Schemes. Legislate for gaps in responsibilities between Department of Education & Skills and school Boards of Management.

Lorraine's contact details

Phone number: 087 7741 917 

email: lorralaine@gmail.com

Facebook page
Twitter page

John Dolan:

John Dolan

John Dolan is originally from Tipperary and has polio since childhood. CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland, of which Enable Ireland is a member, since 2000. He is a well known disability inclusion advocate, running as an independent vocational candidate for Seanad 2016. Previously he worked for 20 years with the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA).

He has a comprehensive understanding of issues across the movement. DFI, with over 133 voluntary disability organisation affiliates, serves the interests of people with disabilities and their families in Ireland. John has been active in the development of the National Disability Strategy. He has been at the forefront of many innovative developments seeking community inclusion for people with disabilities. He was also a member of National Economic and Social Council from 2003 until 2010.

If elected, John says he will:

  • Give 600,000 people with disabilities a voice
  • Keep the pressure on to ensure ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  • Assist and facilitate members of the Seanad and Dail to support the disability movement and to progress disability inclusion
  • Seek to ensure full participation in the local community.

John's Contact Details:

Phone number: 086 7957467

email: johndolan@disability-federation.ie

Facebook page


The other candidates who are running under the Administrative Panel in the Provisional Nominating Bodies sub-panel are:

  • Senator Eamonn Coughlan (Fine Gael)
  • Senator Martin Conway (Fine Gael)
  • Senator Mark Daly (Fianna Fáil)
  • Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady (Fianna Fáil)
  • Councillor Sean Power (Fianna Fáil)