Candidates target family days out in their hustings

Canvassing: Joan Freeman

Wayne O'Connor

Four presidential candidates found themselves covering the same ground as an election rival yesterday as the hustings gathered pace.

Incumbent Michael D Higgins attended an event in Derry in his official capacity as President to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, before going to Sligo.

He was the guest of honour as League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers celebrated their 90th birthday.

He was presented with a tome to the club, A History of Sligo Rovers 1928-2016, before kick-off by the officials in recognition of his long-standing support for the game in Ireland.

He will be in Dublin today for a series of events with youth groups and other organisations.

Sinn Fein candidate Liadh Ni Riada was also in Derry yesterday to commemorate the civil rights movement. She made speeches on Duke Street and at Free Derry Corner.

She called for people living in Northern Ireland to be allowed a vote in presidential elections in the South, citing international examples where emigrants vote in elections in their homeland.

She will be canvassing in Co Donegal today.

Senator Joan Freeman and businessman Gavin Duffy both canvassed outside the Aviva Stadium yesterday as thousands flocked to see rivals Leinster and Munster clash in the Pro 14.

Mr Duffy also took to hustings at the Junction 14 Services Station on the M7 to meet commuters and attended a family fun day at Punchestown Racecourse. Ms Freeman targeted shoppers at Dundrum town centre.

The other former Dragons' Den stars in the presidential race, Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey, both turned their attentions to rural Ireland yesterday.

Mr Gallagher was in Kerry for a series of engagements in Dingle and Tralee before travelling to Co Limerick.

His campaign centres on businesses and he met the owners of companies in both counties yesterday. He attended the Dingle Food Festival before heading to Newcastle West to visit an energy management solutions business.

He will turn his attention to a number of events in the capital today.

Peter Casey also delved in to culinary delights yesterday, canvassing at food festivals in the west.

Mr Casey attended the Ballinasloe Fair yesterday before heading north to Sligo for the Strandhill Food festival.

He will be in Cong, Co Mayo, today for another food festival.