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GAA legend Micheal could run for Aras

GAA legend Micheal O Muircheartaigh has been approached about entering the presidential race, the Herald can reveal.

The former RTE commentator said "individuals" have contacted him over the issue but he refused to reveal whether he has been approached by a particular party.

O Muircheartaigh (80) is one of several celebrities to be tipped as a potential candidate for Fianna Fail, along with Miriam O'Callaghan and Bill Cullen.

He told the Herald: "A lot of people have been making comments on the matter and yes, I have been approached but I'm not prepared to say anything more about it," he said.

"I haven't been paying much attention to the presidential race and have instead been focused on sport and going to all the GAA matches," he added.

A spokesperson for Fianna Fail said that he was "not aware" of any approach made to O Muircheartaigh, adding that the party would not decide on a candidate until early September.

"The party hasn't decided on a strategy yet, we are simply not at a stage of selecting candidates," he added.

The sports legend's name can be added to a growing list of potential presidential candidates.

Former MEP Rosemary 'Dana' Scallon has been urged to put her name forward again.

Dana finished third in her last election attempt in 1997, behind Mary McAleese of Fianna Fail and Mary Banotti of Fine Gael.

But although Dragon's Den star Sean Gallagher is already out of the traps, the presidency is a non-runner for The Apprentice boss.

A spokesman confirmed to the Herald that Dublin business mogul Bill Cullen is not going forward for nomination.

"He thinks all the other candidates are good enough," they added.

The two front runners for the party nomination appear to deputy leader and TD Eamon O'Cuiv as well as Munster MEP Brian Crowley.

Both men have expressed interest in securing the Fianna Fail nomination.

A spokesperson for Brian Crowley told the Herald that the 47-year-old is "hungry" for the Aras.

"Brian is the only candidate from Munster and he is highly interested in running. But at the end of the day, it's up to Fianna Fail to decide and if that is done through a selection convention in September, Brian would be happy to make his case at that."

However, party sources have told the Herald that there is an appetite for the selection of somebody from outside the political arena.

"The Fianna Fail brand is still toxic and perhaps someone different will help to regenerate the party," the source said.

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