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Wednesday 26 July 2017

Dana launches presidential bid as race for Aras heats up

Dana has been canvassing independent TDs and senators for support for a presidential bid and is also seeking the support of Fianna Fáil. Photo: AP

INDEPENDENT.IE REPORTERS

DANA Rosemary Scallon has launched her bid to run for president.

The former MEP has been canvassing independent TDs and senators for support for a presidential bid and will run as an independent candidate.

Launching her bid, she would not be drawn on who is backing her but said she has support.

She added that there are a number of uncommitted independent Oireachtas members who might back her and she also called on Fianna Fáil to allow its TDs and senators a free hand in voting.

Ms Scallon needs the backing of 20 Oireachtas members or four county councils to get her name on the ballot paper.

Earlier, RTE pulled the former Eurovision winner from its Celebrity Bainisteoir television programme as it would be impossible to run the series in conjunction with an election campaign.

Dana ran for the presidency in 1997 when she was beaten by President Mary McAleese.

Dana was due to take part in RTÉ Television’s 8-part entertainment series Celebrity Banisteoir, which went out last night.

RTÉ released a statement today saying that a potential run would cause conflict: “Dana Rosemary Scallon has been cast as one of the bainisteoiri (managers) for the series. If Dana decided to run in this election, it would be impossible to broadcast Celebrity Bainisteoir as it runs throughout the election campaign and results period. In order to ensure RTÉ is unequivocally in a position to comply with our obligations for fairness and balance under broadcasting legislation, Dana has been asked to stand aside.

However, Dana has already appeared in the first and second episodes of the series which will be broadcast before the nomination closing date.

In other presidential news, Fianna Fail potential Labhras O’Murchu said he had what he called a “constructive meeting” with party leader Micheal Martin as he attempts to get the backing to run.

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