Seanad campaign

AnthonyStainesNewPhotoShrunkAnthony Staines – Vote #1

I am running for Seanad Éireann, as an independent candidate on the Trinity panel. I need your support, and your first preference votes, if I am to be elected.

If I am elected, my priorities will be :-

  • A better, fairer, more sustainable health service
  • Better lives for our children and young people
  • Better services for those with disability
  • Protecting and strengthening higher education
  • Accountability in public life and public service

I will begin by concentrating on the areas I know most about – the health service, child health, and higher education. The problems of our health service are well known, and I will work constructively to improve access, quality, safety, and resources. I will work to make Irish policies more child-centred, and I will advocate for children and young people at every opportunity. I will work to support better and fairer access to Irish universities, and the rest of the higher education system.

Why am I running?

It is a great honour to be elected to public office. At a time when many politicians are portrayed, not always fairly, as self-interested fools, this may sound odd, but it’s true. Politics matters, and in a democracy, we all share a responsibility to make it work. Running for the Seanad is how I intend to do my part.

I am acutely aware of the limits of the power of the Seanad. The Seanad has some influence, but little authority. Others have worked in the Seanad, including several of the university senators, to improve parts of Irish life. If I’m elected, I will work hard, both to represent the interest of Trinity and its graduates, and to do what I can to improve politics, legislation, and governance in Ireland.

Who am I?

I’m a doctor, and an academic, a Trinity graduate, trained in child health and public health, and working in the nursing school in DCU. I’m married with two children, in their late teens and early twenties. My wife Una is  a secondary school teacher working in St. Declan’s in Cabra. I live in Skerries, in north county Dublin, and I’m actively involved in my own community. I’m a Fine Gael supporter, but if I get in, I will not take the party whip. I will serve as an independent, for the reasons given here.

I’ve a long track record of effective public service. I’ve served, unpaid, on several State boards, and am currently the chair of the IBTS. I’ve also been a member of the Higher Education Authority, and the Health Insurance Authority. I also chair the board of Quality Matters, a small charity, which is, in effect, a management consultancy for social service and drug addiction service providers. I’ve completed two thirds of the Institute of Directors Chartered Director program.

I’m from a political family. My late father Michael was a solicitor, and a long time Fine Gael activist. My grandfather, also Michael, who died before I was born, fought in the Easter rising, and the war of Independence. He was a member of the first Dáil, the first Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, and a senator in the first Seanad, until 1935. I’d like to follow in his footsteps.

Here are links to my election letters.

Declaration of interests

I’ve placed my declaration of interests here. I think voters ought to know quite a lot about the personal and financial interests of candidates before they vote for them. Ireland, while better than it was, is not a notably transparent country.

Seanad Éireann

The Seanad is one of the two houses of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament. It has, by design, limited powers, and an in-built Government majority. There are 60 senators, 11 appointed by the Taoiseach, 43 elected by councillors, TDs and senators, and 6 elected by graduates from (some) Irish universities – three by graduates of the NUI, and three by graduates of TCD.

It needs extensive and urgent reform. In October 2013 a proposal to abolish it was narrowly defeated in a referendum. There are many proposals for reforming the Seanad, and I held a meeting in December to discuss some of them. If I am elected, I will work hard to make some reform happen.

The election is by postal ballot. Ballots go out to whatever address Trinity have for you on March 21st. They have to be posted back to arrive by April 26th. Turnout is usually low, partly because the addresses on the register are out of date. If you are not sure whether Trinity has the right address for you, please check and correct the address here.

Support my campaign

The most important support is your first preference vote. If you are not registered, please do so. Full details are here. The ballot is a single transferable vote, the same as in Irish Dáil elections. Your preferences matter. I am asking you for your first preference vote, but I will be very grateful for any preference.

If you think I would make a good Senator, please tell your friends about me. Turnout in Seanad elections is low, and it would be good to raise it.

If you want to hear more about me and the campaign, send me your email, or sign up on the form on this page, and I will send you a monthly report. If you feel you can help with the campaign, which would be greatly appreciated, please get in touch.

9 comments on “Seanad campaign

  1. John Donnelly says:

    Hi Anthony, I see you have a very progressive view on health and reformation of legislation around overall health and education. I have being campaigning for Ava’s Law. You may or may not have heard of this but local representatives and those in the Dail are surely aware of the campaign and yet we lay stagnant with no assistance. I certainly would love to cast my #1 Vote on you and have all of my campaign team and our supporters give you support. But I plead you to see into this legislation we are trying to get passed. I can be contacted always @ my email address as campaign advertising and support recruitment. We are a self funded body that is well established. I will look forward to correspondence with you.
    Kind Regards
    John Donnelly

  2. astaines says:

    No worries,

  3. Stephen Cahill says:

    Hi Anthony – I wish you all the best of luck. If you do happen to be elected I see one of your priorities are better services for those with disabilities – could you highlight the fact that for any person with an acquired brain injury, there are literally no relevant or available services in the ROI. The HSE offer families the opportunity to avail of the cross border directive – however as you are probably aware this puts the onus on the family to have the cash up front – some relevant care can cost circa €50k – try approaching a bank to get a loan to cover this!! For an example of how effected families have been forced to come together on this see the following website:

  4. Teri (Teresa) Byrne says:

    Apologies Anthony – I knew, of course, of your father Michael Staines and the good work he did, as a solicitor – In error I addressed you as Michael – apologies again.

    Teresa Byrne

  5. Teri (Teresa) Byrne says:

    Hello, Michael Staines,
    A very good letter – With Respect with working in Public Health you have to be aware of the Pharma control of HSE-Doctors-Hospitals- Just like in GE16 not one politician or anyone running for Election did not mention nor does any Seantor including Dr John Crown Pharma Corruption in Ireland – the cover up of side effects – only 1 member raised concerns on Gardasil which 1 politician declared to be a National Disgrace. The cover up of all Pharma is criminal – What doctors will and have done to cover up Novartis drug Rasilez Aliskiren is beyond Nazism. HSE mafia go to criminal lengths to injure & kill patients in cover up.
    The Electromagnetic Torture that is ongoing in Ireland since 2004 is against every human right code and the Nuremburg Code of Ethics yet it is here in Ireland. Patients are targeting & tortured – Organs stolen from their bodies – Now how on earth can you or anyone stop that – Sadly not even 1 attempt to try.
    I have tweeted some links to your Twitter Page.

    The reality of Ireland today where bounty hunters of Church & State sell human life to Pharma for jobs…It is the hidden war against citizens.

    Yet all it takes is 1 good man to speak up – Dr John Crown & Katherine Zappone are two Senators who decided to ignore this and join in the cover up of such crime.

    Teresa Byrne

  6. astaines says:

    Dear Brigihd,
    It’s lovely to hear from you, and thank you for your kind words, and your vote! Should I get in, I will go down to your part of the world. If you get a chance, could you let some of the other TCD people in Botswana know? I’ll email a list to you,
    All the best,

  7. astaines says:

    Lovely to hear from you. Non-residents can indeed vote. You can check the register by phone to +353 1 896 4500 or by email to
    Hope you can give me a vote! Pass the word anyway,

  8. Donal Dunne says:

    Anthony are non residents entitled to vote and if so how do I check my registeration. I would love to support you.

  9. Brighid Malone says:

    Hi Anthony

    I’m delighted to see one of us running for the Seanad , and you have my number 1 . The presentation you made at our 30th anniversary reunion was excellent : that’s why I’m voting for you . Thankfully , the postal service between Botswana and Ireland has improved alot in recent years . i posted a birthday card to my god-daughter in Cork on 2 March and she got it on 8 March – unprecedented, it used to take 3 weeks … So I think the turn around time for voting will work , even with the distance involved . Wishing you all the very best on your campaign

    Brighid Malone
    PO Box 80738

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