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Decision time, Gaybo

It has been the ultimate silly season story. Ever since veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne indicated last weekend that he might be interested in running for the presidency, his will-he, won't-he act has dominated the headlines in what has traditionally been a slow news month.

As an old media pro, Mr Byrne has exploited the public interest generated by his possible candidacy brilliantly. With the electorate thoroughly disillusioned with party politicians, next October's election almost certainly represents the best opportunity an independent candidate will ever have of making it to Aras an Uachtarain. Until his campaign self-destructed earlier this month it seemed as if David Norris was set to capitalise on this anti-politician mood. Now Mr Byrne has positioned himself to exploit it. However, while Senator Norris had declared his candidacy from the very beginning, Mr Byrne has yet to tell us if he will even be putting his name forward.

Not good enough. This isn't some sort of a reality TV show but a contest for the highest office in the land.

Mr Byrne owes it to the Irish people to tell us whether or not he will be a candidate. It's time for Gaybo to put up or shut up.

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