Saturday 24 March 2018

Micheal O Muircheartaigh to decide on run in 10 days

Majella O'Sullivan

RETIRED broadcasting legend Micheal O Muircheartaigh last night insisted he will be an Independent candidate - if he decides to run for president.

The 80-year-old told the Irish Independent he still hadn't made up his mind to allow his name to go forward but said he would reach a decision in the next 10 days.

Speculation has been mounting that the legendary GAA commentator would be the latest high-profile name to throw his hat into the ring for the race for the Aras since Gay Byrne announced on Saturday his decision not to run.

Their names had been touted as possible independent candidates, following the withdrawal from the race of Senator David Norris, who had topped the popularity polls.

Mr O Muircheartaigh said he would make his decision once he had the time to give it his full consideration.

And when this happens he will not delay in letting the public know.

"If I stood, I would insist on standing as an Independent," he said. "Politics never came into sport and all shades of political opinion are represented in sport and for that reason I wouldn't stand representing any party, no matter what party it was.

"The only thing that got me interested in it is the people and the number of people who say they want me to be part of it," he said.

And if he does decide to run, one thing is for certain -- it won't be an expensive campaign either.

"Take everyone now who's been nominated so far -- they're very well known and I don't know if there's any point in spending money to get people who are already well known more well known," he said.

The retired broadcaster also believes his age is no barrier to the job and had this to say about ageist comments made in connection with the presidency: "I'm a great believer in free speech but I also believe the electorate are entitled to know what age people are.

"It was never a factor with me and I'm involved with Third Age, an organisation started by Mary Nally to get people to remain active, people who had more or less retired in the literal meaning of the word, to get them to come back out to be going places and doing things regardless of their age."

Now his biggest concern is finding the time to sit down with his family to discuss the matter properly but he said this would probably happen at their home in Dun Sion outside Dingle, Co Kerry.

Irish Independent

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