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Sunday 19 August 2018

Michael D Higgins will confirm if he plans to run for second term in September... of 2018

Sean Tracey fom Carlow shows President Michael Daniel Higgins and his wife Sabina his plough at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Also included is Anna May McHugh
Pic:Mark Condren
Sean Tracey fom Carlow shows President Michael Daniel Higgins and his wife Sabina his plough at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Also included is Anna May McHugh Pic:Mark Condren
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

President Michael D Higgins has revealed that he will confirm if he plans to run for a second term "after the summer next year".

Speculation is mounting that Mr Higgins wants a second term after he repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility.

During the 2011 election campaign, the former arts minister said he would only serve for seven years - but he already has the backing from senior political figures, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, to stay in office until 2025.

There is a growing consensus in political circles that the 76-year-old would like to stay on but is not keen on a potentially gruelling election campaign.

Speaking from the Ploughing Championship on RTE Radio One this morning the President said people would have a better idea about his intentions to run "by the time of next year's" event.

"My concentration, as it is now, is on doing this term very well and that's why I don't answer the question now."

He continued: "In the fullness of time, it is just my decision, it doesn't affect anyone else. I haven't ruled anything out and therefore by the time of the ploughing next year the numbers will be up again."

Pressed on when he will make a decision the President said: "In October I am going to Australia and New Zealand, I have a very full programme. I have a number of European Union visits in the Spring."

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He continued: "We will run through the Summer and we will have a set of maybe eight garden parties and then after that I will make an announcement as to what my intentions are."

Asked to clarify a date Mr D Higgins said: "After the summer next year."

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