Fine Gael will actively campaign for Michael D Higgins to return to the Aras
Fine Gael will actively campaign for Michael D Higgins to serve a second term as the President.
At a meeting in Leinster House tonight, the Fine Gael parliamentary party voted in favour of backing Mr Higgins for a second term.
Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon will now recommend the decision to the party’s national executive.
Around 12 Fine Gael members spoke at the meeting with the vast majority supporting Mr Higgins candidacy for a second term.
However, at least one party member is understood to have said Fine Gael should put forward their own candidate.
After the meeting, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the parliamentary party decided that if they’re going to support Mr Higgins they “should do it in a whole-hearted and meaningful way”.
Mr Varadkar did not rule out the use of posters and literature and party funds.
The party will consult with Mr Higgins about resources before the campaign begins.
Mr Varadkar said: "The recommendation that we are making today is that the Fine Gael party will support President Higgins’ bid for re-election.
"We will support his campaign actively and campaign for him.
"He has done an excellent job as Presdient, has served the country really well.
"We think he deserves a second term and both he and Sabina have done a fantastic job over the last seven years.
"That should be recognised by a resounding re-election in October."