Wednesday 28 September 2016

Miriam remains tight-lipped on Áras ambitions

Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30

Ms O’Callaghan remained tight-lipped when quizzed at the launch of the Oireachtas Children’s Future Health Group yesterday
Ms O’Callaghan remained tight-lipped when quizzed at the launch of the Oireachtas Children’s Future Health Group yesterday

RTÉ have said they will address any potential "conflict of interests" regarding Miriam O'Callaghan's rumoured presidential ambitions closer to the end of Michael D Higgins Presidential term.

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The 'Prime Time' presenter again refused to rule out the possibility of running for the Áras in 2018 yesterday, saying "who knows what anyone's going to do in two or three years' time?"

And RTÉ appear to be adopting a similar attitude, stating that while there are "clear and robust procedures" in place to insure no conflict of interest, the next presidential election is a long way off.

"The Presidential term of office for the incumbent president, President Higgins, is not due to expire until October 2018," a spokesperson for the station said. "There is therefore no presidential campaign currently taking place, or imminently falling due."

The spokesperson continued; "In the event of any RTÉ staff or contractor declaring an interest in an upcoming campaign, there are clear and robust procedures to ensure that a conflict of interest does not arise."

Speculation about Ms O'Callaghan's interest in the election has been mounting in recent months but RTÉ is not willing to say whether it has discussed the rumours.

"It is not our policy to comment on internal conversations with any members of staff," the spokesperson said.

Ms O'Callaghan remained tight-lipped when quizzed at the launch of the Oireachtas Children's Future Health Group yesterday.

"I never even said anything in my life about running for President," she told reporters, adding: "It's miles down the road."

O'Callaghan went on to praise current President Michael D Higgins saying; "We have a brilliant President at the moment and that's all I have to say."

O' Callaghan refused to comment on RTÉ's stance in regard to her potential presidential ambitions.

"I really have nothing more to say on it," she said.

It's not the first time O'Callaghan has been linked to a Presidential race.

In 2010, she was tipped to run. However, both RTE and O'Callaghan were quick to quash the rumours.

"O'Callaghan would like to point out," a 2010 statement read, "that while she is delighted and honoured that some people are considering her as a potential presidential candidate she will NOT be standing for the position... in 2011."

RTÉ was criticised in 2009 when its then-economic editor George Lee quit to run in a Dáil by-election. Although rumours about talks between Mr Lee and Fine Gael were circulating the station said it only found out minutes before he went public.

Irish Independent

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