So How Does One Elect A NUI Senator?


Of the 60 members of the Seanad, three are elected by graduates of the National University of Ireland. These are currently Senator Prof. John Crown, Senator Fergal Quinn and Broadsheet favourite Senator Ronan Mullen (above).

But how do you get to vote? According to the NUI Election website

Every person who is a citizen of Ireland and has received a degree (other than an honorary degree) in the National University of Ireland is entitled to be registered as an elector in the NUI register of electors.

That’s all well and good, but how do you get on the register?

I have  a BSc and MEngSc from NUI and I’ve never received a voting form.

Luckily McGarr Solictors shows us how easy it is:

Fill out this form

Post it to The National University of Ireland, 49 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

The best thing about this vote? It’s postal so you can partake no matter where in the world you are.

Now that’s democracy.

You need to be on the register by February 2013, but sure why not do it today in case the government falls before then?

NUI Seanad Register
Voter Registration Form

114 thoughts on “So How Does One Elect A NUI Senator?

    1. Sido

      Preferably before he builds up to much in the way of pension credits.
      And good luck with that one BS – please stay on this parasites case, for the good of society as a whole.

    2. Rumpleforeskin

      The second that smug, twatty face scrolled into view my knuckles started twitching on their own, crying out to be pounded against it, again and again and again. This was before I even realised who it was…

    3. Bob

      Can you not spare us your sneering and be constructive enough to run yourself? Lets see how you do against Senator Mullen.

  1. Shane H

    Jesus, didn’t realize he was one of ours. Filling out that form immediately. John Crown is a good guy though.

    1. catherine

      I have never been ashamed of my University for the political figures they have produced. However, this guy…

  2. Just sayin'

    Yeah, thrid-level graduates, as an oppressed minority, obviously require specially-designated seats in the Oireachtas.

  3. ReproBertie

    The Seventh Amendment to the Constitution provided for the election of members of Seanad Éireann by universities and other institutions of higher education. That was in 1979.

    33 years later no legislation has been enacted to give graduates of “other institutions of highter education” their vote.

    That’s democracy?

    1. pedeyw

      Yeah, that’s always annoyed me. I have an hons. BA. The IT I went to was the only place I could have studied what I studied. I got a first, too. Yet my education is somehow less impressive or important than someone who scored a pass mark in arts.

      1. Daithi

        My brother has been in Australia for the last 10 years. He has an honours degree from UCC.
        I also have an honours degree, with a higher score, except CIT in the same field and am living here all my life.
        Yet he has more of a say in the Oireachtas than I do.

    2. cluster

      The other institutions are not of the same standard. We can pretend if we like, but they are not.

      Why do we insist on diluting the quality of our universities?

      1. gomuckout

        I went to an IT and got a BA. For our seminars, we used past papers from universities around the country, including Trinity past papers, and they were do-able, and shockingly, easier at times than our own papers. Imagine that!

        I’ve also seen many of my classmates go on to do Masters in UCD and the like, and they actually understood the professors. No remedial classes or anything. I know, it’s mad, isn’t it?

        Well I’m off to share this page with a friend, who actually sat the same course as me, and is now doing her Doctorate – in a university! Oh my God, it’s just crazy!

  4. BLC

    Does anyone remember what Mullen said, if anything, about the Divorce amendment? If he predicted nine kinds of apocalypse then, it would be nice to call him on it now.

  5. albee

    Thank you for giving me the motivation to stick with my degree. If its only value will be helping to get this arse’s face out of the Seanad, it will be worth a thousand degrees.

  6. Susan

    Interesting – I waived my right to vote for Trinity College Senators shortly after graduating. I didn’t see why being in college should give one special entitlements to vote that others didn’t have.

    Mind you, I don’t think that gobdaw or his like would have been on the list of people to vote for in TCD anyway.

    1. Blah

      Susan – Trinity/University of Dublin was given Seanad seats in 1937 as a signal to the Nordies that Ireland 2.0 was willing to protect traditional, Protestant institutions.

      In fairness, and this is a bit of a tangent, Trinity has given the country some fine public representatives: David Norris, Shane Ross, Ivana Bacik, Mary Robinson.

      1. Fer

        Shane Ross and Mary Robinson yes but David Norris and Ivana Bacik what! I can’t decide which is more useless.

  7. IDB

    “Now that’s democracy”
    A vote specifically allowed only by graduates of certain universities? No, that’s not democracy.

    1. Tommy

      So if shareholders for a company hold a democratic vote you don’t believe it is proper democracy because non-shareholders don’t have a say?
      This is a vote to elect a number of senators as representatives from the NUI.

      1. Daithi

        Then why isn’t there Seanad representatives for Technology Institutes? or UL? or DCU? or my secondary school?

      2. pedeyw

        I think the point is the other institutes don’t have a representative. At all. Why is that?
        Its a little more like only giving certain shareholders the right to vote because the others, despite owning shares, didn’t go through the right broker.

        1. Tommy

          Its clearly an accident of history. Should it be changed? Yes. Does it matter a f**king jot? No. The Senate will probably be removedin the next decade.
          Still, its fun to see all the IT graduates display the massive chip on their shoulder they have about their education.

          1. pedeyw

            I have no problem with my education, I had a good time and learned a lot. I have no regrets regarding that. I would attend the same IT.
            I do have a chip on my shoulder about having no representation in the seanad despite a a constitutional amendment being passed 32 years ago that nobody bothered legislating for.

          2. IDB

            Does it matter a jot? Possibly not. Is it “democracy”? Absolutely f*cking not. As per my original f*cking point.

      1. IDB

        Oh right. So some lad who has been living in San Diego since graduating from Arts some 20 years ago can have a say in who sits in an advisory upper house of a Parliament ruling over people some 8,000kms away is democracy?
        But my not getting a say because my BSc and my MSc were awarded by an IT has nothing to do with it?

        Just trying to get a definition of the term.

  8. Father Jack

    Have voted for John Crown a couple of times. He is a decent man who talks a lot of sense as for the other tulip Mullen …well the less said the better.

      1. Parp

        Neither Father Ted nor Podge & Rodge resided in Ahascragh. They were from Craggy Island and Ballydung respectively.

        Monica Looley was from Ahascragh.

  9. Carlos

    At TCD you fill in a form they give you when you graduate. Constituency is ‘University of Dublin’ so students from teaching colleges and, until about a decade ago, those who did DIT degrees validated by Univ Dub also got a vote.

    Still silly though its never been expanded.

    1. Lu

      Yeah, how ridiculous is this?

      In my graduating class there was one guy who started while DIT was still validated by TCD. We sat the same exams, had the same final project criteria. For taking something like 12 years start to finish (I’m sure there were reasons behind it, it’s not that he failed that many times) HE gets a vote but I don’t.

        1. Bob

          Yes I agree its a bit ridiculous. Its not quite as bad as the UK though with the members of the House of Lords inheriting seats.

  10. WouldBeVoter

    I’m reading the form right aren’t I – as an NUI graduate (tho it’s a postgrad not an undergrad degree) who lives in Ireland but isn’t an Irish citizen, I can’t have a vote? I _think_ it’s only open to citizens? Please tell me anyone who knows this is wrong, because I’d love to vote against this appalling little man.

    1. IDB

      What place would a political science graduate have in deciding these matters. Leave it to those who did Celtic Studies in Trinners thank you.

  11. Daniel Sullivan

    I would note that at the last election (contested by yours truly to no great avail – there again I’m not an NUI graduate) one of the candidates sought to allow people to check if they were registered on-line. The NUI refused to allow them permission to do so, not would the NUI take the SW that candidate and their team had developed in-house so that they could modify it to put whatever safeguards they felt were needed on it. Their argument was, and was in 2007 as well, that sure they wouldn’t be there the next time so why bother doing anything.

    I would also note that the NUI maintains a comprehensive register for its own internal Senate elections (yes the NUI has its own Senate as well as Seanad members), that register is much more up to date and is, it appears, automatically updated once you gradudate while the Seanad one is not. Knowing who is a citizen and not is a trival matter for the NUI as the colleges have to know your nationality in order to determine what fees to charge. And they have your PPS number too, so they could easily task the revenue with creating an up to date mailing list for all their gradudates.

    The current NUI Seanad register is a bit north of the 100,000 mark while a combination of CSO estimates and my own thumb rule would lead us to believe the number of living NUI graduates is about the 250,000 mark. The largest voting block is those graduates from the 1980s, if more recent graduates from the 90s and 00s actually registereed they would swamp the existing more conversative block that is there.

  12. ABM

    As a DU graduate, I’ll be making sure Ivana Bacik no longer gets the opportunity to peddle her probort views.

    1. Arbs

      Thank you for the mirth! If you are expecting us to believe that someone of your ilk has had the benefit of a university education at TCD, an insult to even the most vivid of one’s daydreaming faculties, then you are even more deluded than I thought. But I don’t think you are even fooling yourself. If, on the off chance, you have received some sort of formal educational instruction, you have put it to very poor use indeed. Persons who are emotionally healthy, psychologically secure and socially functional don’t really spend their days trolling online peddling a rather frenzied (and telling) fixation of your causes celebres of gay marriage and abortion in the vein of a rather macabre Henny Penny. You are rest assured though that I am happy to vindicate this freedom to offend so that all and sundry can see the rather messed-up and deeply troubled individual you are. Have you considered perhaps actually turning off the computer and getting some fresh air – I’m sure you have the time.

      1. ABM

        Are you trying to infer that a university educated person (to a higher standard than you, I might add) is only capable of rationalising views that are pro-choice and pro-homosexual in nature? Many of the finest intellectual minds in the world are against homosexuality (not just for biblical reasons) and will defend the unborn from destruction.

        1. Arbs

          Ha! I stand chastened and rebuked. Oh, yes, I’ll bet that you are an attractive, hyper-educated, socially functional individual with a wide circle of friends and contributing to society: I mean you have all the traits and hallmarks. Of course, your anti-gay rants smack of the utmost integrity and careful consideration, particularly when you recently opined that those horrid gays are going to corrupt children with their gay textbooks. Aristotle himself couldn’t fault your impeccable ethos and logic. I’ll wager the nearest you came to a third-level establishment was via a sandwich board proclaiming the wrath of God on those who disagree with you.

          1. Jess


            The idea that someone as warped and narrow-minded as ABM could possibly be a university graduate is amusing.

          1. Selina Kill

            Sure, on some levels.

            I’ll only do it when my tolerance is at it’s lowest though.
            Like at the end of a fortnight when I’ve been verbally abused by willfully ignorant, gleefully homophobic religious fundamentalists.

  13. Green fingers

    So after all that ranting how many of you, who aren’t already registered and are entitled to do so, printed off the form and will actually bother filling it out and sending it in. We can complain about this guy all we want but that won’t get rid of him. Get printing people.

  14. Daniel Sullivan

    “You need to be on the register by February 2013, but sure why not do it today in case the government falls before then?” If the government falls before then, the register from last June is used. Sorry.

  15. John

    The whole idea that Seanad members can only be elected by graduates affiliated to certain third level institutions is entirely undemocratic in itself.

    The Seanad can influence and block legislation. That means that ultimately, any legislation that doesn’t appeal to certain people who control how everything goes down in Ireland, can simply block it.

  16. nige

    thanks for this. I’d been meaning to do something about getting my NUI vote for years but didn’t actually do it – much to my shame when Donncha O’Connell, the anti-Ronan Mullen candidate, was defeated.

    The form is now in the post.

    1. walker

      This is a site that mainly posts links to other articles, cartoons, missing bikes, and things that are shaped like Ireland.

      If you’re here for first-rate journalism, you’re a complete and utter moron.

  17. Kevin

    Not true, there was a voter registration form in my little booklet they gave to everyone at the graduation ceremony.

  18. ABM

    I don’t believe in “balance” when it comes to a private entity reporting what they think will sell the most advertising. Unless, of course, you’re funded from the public purse. In which case you have an obligation to the taxpayer.

  19. Peter Mooney

    The University Senate Constituencies are quiete undemocratic but they are a platform which
    Ronan Mullen and his supporters have exploited this really well. I stood in the last election precisely
    because Ronan Mullen took the seat of Brendan Ryan who had spoken out on behalf of the
    the most under privileged sectors of society and Ronan Mullen represents the most conservative
    sections of Irish society. I am still amazed that people who have benefited from the best of education
    that our society has to offer are unaware that they are entitled to vote and how to get that
    vote. I am also amazed at those who are shocked and horrified by Ronan Mullen’s views
    who had the opportunity to deprive Ronan Mullen of his Senate seat failed to vote for those
    candidates who challenged his views. Only about a third of eligible NUI voters voted and these
    are amongst the most privileged people in the country. While I absolutely opposed Ronan
    Mullen, his views and his supporters he stood in a reasonably democratic election, mobilised
    support and was elected. That is not his fault. It is the fault of those who couldn’t be bothered
    to register or to vote.

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