by Rex Wockner
Two gay men made history by being elected to Ireland’s lower house of Parliament, Dail Eireann, on Feb. 25.
Dominic Hannigan will represent Meath East, a parliamentary constituency in the northeast of the nation, for the Labour Party.
And John Lyons will represent the constituency of Dublin North West for Labour.
Hannigan currently is a member of the Seanad Eireann, or Senate. Members of that body are not directly elected, and its powers are weaker than those of the Dail.
Hannigan will have to give up that seat, to which he was appointed in 2007 by fellow politicians.
Ireland’s only other openly gay member of Parliament — current or past — also is a senator. Since 1987, David Norris has represented voters who are graduates of the University of Dublin.