President Higgins won't announce future intentions until weeks before term ends
The President said he will not attempt to impede a challenger by holding off on an announcement until weeks before his seven year term expires.
Speaking in Australia Mr Higgins said he has a busy schedule up to “late spring” of next year but will make his intentions known after that.
He stressed that he intends to give the people of Ireland and his schedule his 'full concentration' until then.
It had previously been reported that Higgins would declare his intentions regarding a second Presidential term at the Ploughing Championships in 2018.
Some believed that a delay in the announcement could perhaps pose problems for other potential candidates.
However yesterday Higgins said he would make his declaration before September 2018.
“I did not say that it would have to wait until the Ploughing Championship next year," he said.
“I said by then the information as what I would be doing would be available - they are not the same thing.”
He added; “ I am not standing as impediment to any body else wishing to making a contribution. We are in a democracy, and in a republic after all.”
He said at an 'appropriate time' he “will take everything into account as to decide how I might best contribute to Irish society.”
Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has said he intends to run as a candidate for the presidency to ensure there is an election.
Within political circles it is widely believe he wishes to run for a second term.
His popularity with the Irish public also remains high.
He said that the support the Irish public have shown him was a source of great strength as he continues to carry out his Presidential duties.
Four Presidents have served for two seven year terms; Seán T. O'Kelly, Éamon De Valera, Patrick Hillery, and Mary McAleese.