Saturday 23 March 2019

Presidential pitches

Councillors will meet in September to hear bids for Áras support

John Manning

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 prospective 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 have 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 wait 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 endorsement of that candidate 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.

Fingal Independent