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Thursday 22 February 2018

Davis to take a break after last-place finish

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

DEFEATED presidential candidate Mary Davis said last night that she was going to take a "break" before returning to her job as head of Special Olympics Europe.

She finished last out of the seven candidates in the presidential election with just 2.7pc of the vote -- or 48,657 first-preference votes.

"I'll definitely get some rest first and then I'll tidy up things after the campaign. So maybe the week after next, I might go away and have a break," she said.

The other defeated candidates are also preparing for the future after the gruelling campaign.

David Norris is going to return to be "more troublesome" in the Seanad, having proclaimed himself "re-energised" by the outcome of the campaign.

Supporters of Dana Rosemary Scallon are not ruling out her running for office again -- with the European elections in 2014 one possibility.

Ms Scallon left her options open, saying that she was going to put her "feet up" for a few days.

Both she and Mr Norris were present when Michael D Higgins was declared the winner of the presidential election in Dublin Castle.

Last night, Ms Davis insisted that she did not intend to snub Mr Higgins by not turning up on Saturday. She admitted she had been told about the ceremony but said she did not know she was supposed to go.

"Had I known that, absolutely I would have been there. I was sure that Saturday was the day for Michael D Higgins and his family.

"I blame myself for not being there," she said.

Ms Davis said she would be writing to all of her supporters to thank them for their work during the presidential campaign.

She had had been considered one of the "dark horses" for the presidency in the early stages of the race but her support fell away after the "Quango Queen" allegations -- and never recovered. She said she hoped her experience would not deter other women from serving on state boards.

"My fear is that something like this will put them off rather than encouraging them. Women still are under-represented on state boards," she said.

Ms Davis needed to get 12.5pc of the vote to claim the €200,000 in expenses from the taxpayer, but only got 2.7pc.

That means she must personally pay all of the €350,000 she estimated her campaign would cost -- although some of the cost may be defrayed by donations received.

Irish Independent

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