Miriam 'must come clean on her Áras intentions' - presidential hopeful Craughwell
Presidential hopeful Gerard Craughwell says broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan may have been "flying a kite" on a potential Áras bid by dropping her summer chat show.
Mr Craughwell believes it's in everybody's interest the public knows who intends to run sooner rather than later and called on Ms O'Callaghan, and any other parties who might be weighing up a bid, to declare their intentions.
It comes as Labour Party members said they would support a second term for incumbent President Michael D Higgins.
Independent Senator Mr Craughwell was the first candidate to put his name forward as he said it would be "undemocratic" to not have a presidential election this year when Mr Higgins's term comes to an end.
Ms O'Callaghan fuelled speculation she was considering a tilt at the presidency last month by announcing she is to take a break from her summer chat show.
Mr Craughwell said he would be delighted to see her name put forward as a rival.
"I hope she does run. I think it is time that those who are interested came out of the woodwork and declared their intention," he told the Irish Independent.
"She has come away from her summer TV show. I think that may well be a little bit like flying a kite to see what the reaction would be."
He added; "I feel we should discuss the role and we should have contenders coming out of the woodwork.
"There are no coronations of individuals in Ireland so I would welcome Miriam O'Callaghan and many more like her that may want to come out to put themselves out there now."
Other names linked to the role include Independent Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh and Fine Gael MEPs Seán Kelly and Mairead McGuinness.
RTÉ said last night that Ms O'Callaghan was taking the time off this summer to work on a documentary about the Troubles.
Yesterday, two Labour politicians said they would like to see Michael D Higgins run for a second term. He ran as a Labour candidate in 2011.
Limerick TD Jan O'Sullivan and Dublin Senator Kevin Humphreys said they would both campaign for Mr Higgins if he chooses to run for a second term.
He is expected to announce his intentions before the end of July.
"At this stage I think a vast majority of the parliamentary party hopes Michael D will put his name forward for another seven years," said Mr Humphreys.