Mairead McGuiness tipped for Presidency
FINE Gael MEP Mairead McGuiness is currently joint favourite to be the next President of Ireland.
The Ardee native joins former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay and EU ombudsman Emily O'Reilly at odds of 8/1 to be the next resident of Áras an Uachtaráin, accoding to reports by The Argus.
Ms McGuiness didn't rule herself out of a possible contest when asked about it earlier this year.
Last January, she said she believes 'there will be a contest' and 'she will be guided by her party's wishes as to whether it will contest the position'.
"The fact that I put my name forward the last time clearly shows that I had an interest," she told the Examiner. "At the moment I am vice president of the European Parliament, so I would have to look at this, but I would really be guided by the party and what the party wishes are.'
The four frontrunners found themselves leading the field, after previous favourite Miriam O'Callaghan ruled herself out of contention.
Ms O'Callaghan tweeted on Friday that she would not be a candidate and her removal from the betting has left four candidates sharing favouritism to replace Michael D. Higgins.
McGuinness was the first female graduate of University College Dublin's Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1980. In 1984, she completed a diploma in accounting and finance and followed a career in the media before entering politics in 2004. She worked as a researcher on The Late Late Show, as a presenter on RTÉ's Ear to the Ground and Celebrity Farm, a journalist with the Irish Farmers Journal and editor of the Irish Independent's farming supplement.