Saturday 24 March 2018

Presidential deadline: September 27 last date for nominations

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Prospective presidential candidates have until September 28 to secure a nomination, it was revealed today.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan confirmed the election date of October 27 and encouraged anyone not on the electoral register to ensure their details are recorded.

Every Irish citizen who is 18 and included in the register of electors for a constituency is entitled to vote at the election. The total electorate stands at 3.1 million.

Four candidates are currently in the race - Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell, Labour's Michael D Higgins, and independents Sean Gallagher and Mary Davis.

Mr Gallagher and Ms Davis need to secure the support of either 20 Oireachtas members or four councils to secure a nomination.

Mr Gallagher has received motions of support from five councils - Longford, Donegal, Clare, Leitrim and Roscommon, while Ms Davis has six - Monaghan, Louth, Kerry, North Tipperary, Limerick and Mayo.

The Fianna Fail parliamentary party is expected to discuss its stance when it meets tomorrow, but TDs and Senators are to be urged not to field an internal candidate.

A special sub-committee met yesterday, made up of leader Micheal Martin, deputy Eamon O'Cuiv, Timmy Dooley, Dara Calleary, Sean O Fearghail and Senator Daragh O'Brien.

Party sources said five opted against running a contender from the rank and file, while Mr O'Cuiv, who has been touted as a potential candidate, was the only one in favour.

Eurovision winner Dana is also expected to declare whether she wants another bid for the presidency.

Former broadcaster Micheal O Muircheartaigh last week became the latest personality to rule himself out of the race for the Aras, following on from Gay Byrne.

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