Maria Cahill set to replace Jimmy Harte in the Seanad today

mairia cahill

Mairia Cahill is set to be elected to the Seanad today.

The Belfast woman - who became known for revealing her sexual abuse at the hands of an IRA member - was nominated by the Labour Party to fill the seat vacated by Jimmy Harte, who continues to recover after a serious fall two years ago.

Four candidates have contested this by election with only TDs and Senators having a vote - they are Mairia Cahill, Independent and former Fianna Fáil campaigner Jerry Beades, Sinn Féin put forward Councillor Sinead Burke, and Fianna Fáil put forward Keith Swanick.

But Mairia Cahill is a shoo-in as she'll secure the votes of Labour and Fine Gael TDs and Senators.

She did run into controversy over her role in the group Republican Network for Unity - where she served as it's national secretary for a few hours in 2010 and says she was associated with it for no longer than 6 months.

Breaking her silence on the matter in an interview on RTE radio last night - after polls closed, Mairia Cahill apologised for joining the dissident group saying it was at a vulnerable point in her life, and said she no longer considered herself to be a Republican.

Counting of votes gets underway at 11am this morning, with a result expected before lunchtime.