Wednesday 23 January 2019

Council will hear Áras candidates

Senator Joan Freeman
Senator Joan Freeman

Prospective presidential candidates will make their pitch to Fingal's county councillors in September in a bid to secure the council's backing to run for the Áras.

A meeting of the council has been sanctioned for September 11 to facilitate consideration of prospective candidates seeking nomination for the forthcoming presidential election.

To date, only one propspective presidential candidate has formally made a request to speak at that meeting.

The Fingal Independent understands it is Senator Joan Freeman, the founder of Pieta House that is first out of the gate in seeking a hearing by county councillors.

However, it is understood that several other candidates hae made informal approaches to the council and are now likely to formally seek a hearing after the date for the meeting was firmed up, last week.

Among those who have had some informal contact with local councillors is Balbriggan-based potential presidential candidate, Kevin Sharkey.

Councillors must waite for the formal order of an election to make their decision but it is expected that order may come before September 11, allowing councillors to make their decision at the meeting.

Councillors facilitating a candidate to run is not necessarily an endorsemen of that candiate but will be seen by many councillors as allowing a competitive contest to take post for the highest office in the land.

A number of candidates are ultimately likely to avail of the opportunity to pitch their case to Fingal county councillors, but for now at least, only Senator Freeman has shown her hand.

The Pieta House founder has written to local authorities across the country, explaining her campaign.

She said that She said that if elected she will convene a National Assembly on the wellbeing of Ireland and that her campaign will be based on 'securing a Republic of wellbeing, initiative and justice'.

Fingal County Council has some history in supporting candidates running for the Áras and allowed David Norris to to forward, last time.

Fingal Independent