Thursday 27 June 2019

Miriam O'Callaghan officially rules herself out of presidential run

Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Tom Burke
Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Tom Burke Newsdesk Newsdesk

Broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan has finally ended speculation over her political ambitions by announcing today that she would not be running in the presidential election.

Ms O'Callaghan was asked a number of times at a charity event on Thursday if she would stand for presidency but refused to confirm, replying instead that Michael D Higgins is "wonderful".

Last month, she had fuelled speculation that she was considering running for Áras an Uachtráin when she announced that she is to take a break from her summer chat show.

Today, however, the Prime Time presenter confirmed in a series of tweets that she was not going to run in the presidential election.

Ms O'Callaghan tweeted that she had been "touched and a little embarrassed" when people approached her at charity events to suggest that she should run for President.

She added: “Out of respect to them, and to our serving President, I have always declined to engage in those discussions. However, given the recent resurgence of speculation, I want to state that I will not be a candidate in an upcoming Presidential election.

“I would also like to make clear that I have always been, and will always remain, independent of any political party. I’m looking forward to spending the summer working on a landmark documentary about the 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches in the North and the Troubles, a place and a story that I’ve covered in-depth throughout my career.”

President Michael D Higgins's term is due to conclude before the end of this year. He previously said he would be a one-term President but has recently hinted he would like a second term, saying he had laid "solid foundations" since replacing Mary McAleese in 2011.

A number of potential candidates have said they would rule themselves out if Mr Higgins was to put himself forward for a second term. However, Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has indicated he will put himself forward because he said it would "undemocratic" to not have a presidential election this year.

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