Nomination of Seanad panel candidates


Before each general election, five panels are formed, which contain candidates who have knowledge and practical experience of the following areas.

  • Cultural and educational panel. This includes people involved with the national language, culture, literature, art, education, law and medicine.
  • Agricultural panel. This includes people involved in agriculture and fisheries.
  • Labour panel. This includes people involved in either organised or unorganised labour
  • Industrial and Commercial panel. This includes people involved in industry and commerce, including banking, finance, accountancy, engineering and architecture.
  • Administrative panel. This includes people involved in public administration and social services, including voluntary social services.

Those five panels are then each divided into two panels; the Oireachtas sub-panel and the Nominating Bodies sub-panel.


In order to be nominated to a panel of candidates, you must be eligible to become a Senator. To be placed on an Oireachtas sub-panel, you must be nominated by any four members of the Dáil and Seanad. Each TD and Senator can nominate one person only to any Oireachtas sub-panel.

To be placed on a Nominating Bodies sub-panel, you must be nominated by one of the bodies registered. The Clerk of the Seanad keeps a register of bodies that can nominate candidates. These bodies are usually non-profit making organisations that represent the interests of one of the panels. A body cannot be registered for more than one panel.

Each registered nominating body will nominate a fixed number of candidates for its panel.

The Register of Nominating Bodies is reviewed in February each year. Any body that wants to be registered or amend its details on the register or be removed from the register must complete an application form and submit it to the Seanad Returning Officer before 12 noon on 14 February (see 'Where to apply' below).

Where to apply

Applications to be added or removed from the Register of Nominating Bodies must be sent to:

Seanad Returning Office,

Leinster House,

Dublin 2.

Page edited: 30 September 2013