Thursday 22 February 2018

Bruce Arnold: Thinking Ireland has a natural candidate in Mary

Bruce Arnold

The presidential election has thrown up more doubt and confusion than ever before. Questions of relevance and purpose have produced demands about the potential holder of the office as well as the office itself. Some hysteria has been expended searching for a description of the job. This has fuelled a dismissive attitude to the early candidates, those coming from political parties disparaged most.

Others who have worked towards public acceptance as candidates on their record of public service, such as Mary Davis, have had to struggle against guilt by association and dismissal because they are not exciting enough or not 'celebrities'.

Opinion polls redefined the job and came up with three failed choices based on popularity, two of them bizarrely at odds with the role, which, of course, no one has tried to understand. All three have sensibly withdrawn.

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