President Higgins' campaign fundraiser draws criticism for asking people to 'chip in'
An online campaign is attempting to raise €50,000 to fund President Michael D Higgins' re-election bid.
With just weeks to go until we take to the polls on October 26, an online fundraiser was launched today and the public are being urged to donate what they can to the campaign.
As President Higgins seeks a second term, a statement on his official website said: "Michael D is one of Ireland’s most active, fearless, thoughtful, and caring political figures.
"With 23 days until Ireland votes for our next President - we need to raise €50,000 to build a winning campaign and a strong mandate. Can you chip in? #APresidentForUsAll"
To date more than 120 donors have donated over €5,800, with some leaving notes outlining why they are backing the President.
One person wrote: "Michael D has been an important change maker in this country for many years. He is the only truly relevant candidate in this race."
Another added: "So proud of Michael D. Delighted to be able to help."
However, others took to social media to criticise the online fundraiser.
One person wrote: "I think Higgins should fund his own campaign given his big salary and expenses and pensions etc."
Another commented: "Spend your own money. Cop on."
President Higgins faces competition from Senator Joan Freeman, Liadh Ni Riada and Dragons' Den stars Sean Gallagher, Gavin Duffy and Peter Casey.
His team has said they feel he is the best candidate for the job and they want to put their full efforts into the campaign.
"Do you want to see Michael D continue as President?
"He needs your help to make that happen. We need to raise €50,000 to build a campaign that can win - and give Michael D a strong mandate for a second term in office.
"The early polls have been very encouraging. But we can’t – and we won’t – take anything for granted.
"Michael D is a President we can all be proud of, and has inspired and united us during his term in office. He has dedicated his life to championing the rights of the most vulnerable in society. But now he needs our help to continue his work," they wrote in a statement.
They outlined that all donations will be used to cover essential campaign costs, such as posters and leaflets.
They noted that €10 wold cover the cost of printing hanging up and taking down a campaign poster, €20 would fund 1,000 leaflets and €50 would pay for online ads.
They added: "When the votes are counted and the result is announced, we dearly want it to be Michael D Higgins who is elected President of Ireland.
"Please join the movement to make sure we can continue to have a President we can proud of."