Feminist Katherine Zappone leads Dáil newcomers

A feminist who proposed to her wife live on air during the vote for same-sex marriage has been elected to the Dail.

New Dublin South West TD Katherine Zappone popped the question to partner Ann Louise Gilligan on RTE last year as the senator was discussing the historic Yes vote.

The human rights campaigner has joined a swathe of new independent voices outside the major parties in the Dáil.

The Green Party’s deputy leader Catherine Martin became the first representative elected in Dublin Rathdown since the grouping’s Dail wipe-out in 2011 after sharing power with Fianna Fail and supporting the bank bailout. She was a teacher and strong advocate of education.

Gino Kenny was returned for the Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit in Dublin Mid-West. The community carer has campaigned against water charges for decades and described himself as a “revolutionary socialist”.

Independent Sean Canney from Galway told the Galway East electorate “your issues are my policies” in what critics would describe as a parish pump refrain common to many independents.

He topped the poll. The former mayor of County Galway has signed up to the Independent Alliance’s Charter for Change aimed at rooting out political cronyism.

Denis Naughten left Fine Gael in 2011 in opposition to a government decision to downgrade services at Roscommon Hospital. He was elected as an independent in Roscommon-Galway.

Fellow health campaigner Dr Michael Harty is a long-serving general practitioner based in Kilmihil near Ennis in Co Clare. He contested this election as part of the No Doctor, No Village campaign, which sought to restore rural GPs’ income to pre-austerity levels. He described the 80% turnout in his home village as humbling.

Independent county councillor Michael Collins was returned in Cork South West. The supporter of community voluntary services pledged to keep jobs in West Cork.