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If it's going to become a job for old men with too much time on their hands, let's scrap the presidency altogether

With just over two months to go, where are we now with the Presidential race?

Are we any clearer about the type of person we want elected, or is it becoming apparent that the job is really not a necessity and we should just accept that Ireland doesn't actually need a president.

I wrote last week about the ridiculous idea of Gay Byrne being our premier. The idea that a broadcaster, who had entertained the nation for decades, was even considering himself as a candidate, made he himself and those who supported the notion, deluded at the least.

Mr Byrne obviously saw sense and withdrew from the race. He dipped his toe into the ruthless scrutiny of analysts who have their swords sharpened for anyone who wants to put their name in the hat, and they swiftly cut through any laidback intentions he might have had.

At least Gay Byrne had a couple of weeks of ego massage, huge media coverage and ammunition for asking for a raise for his television and radio projects.


Another person whose name is being bandied about is Micheal O Muircheartaigh.

I am seriously at the stage of wondering if we should just draw a line under the whole president thing and say that's it, we actually don't need one.

I mean, what can I say about Micheal O Muircheartaigh?

The GAA commentator has revealed he has been approached by various people suggesting he runs for president. He is 80 years old, for goodness sake. How many more septuagenarians and octogenarians are going to flick through their diaries, think they have a bit of time on their hands, and apply for the job?

Well, I know a 90-year-old man in Cavan who swims daily.

Or better still, what about the latest 'body in the bog'. Apparently, it is approximately 4,000 years old, possibly female, sans head and other relatively important bits, but from the photo in which she is being scrutinised by Ned Kelly from the National Museum of Ireland, her legs look to be in good nick. Can we resuscitate her?

At this stage, Michael D Higgins is looking like a toddler compared to those who are showing an interest in this race.

It's not the age of the people who are considering the role. It's their belief that they suddenly have what it takes to make it to the Aras.

And maybe they are right. Maybe we should finally see that this extremely cushy seven-year position in the Phoenix Park is as outdated as those who are applying. The president has no power, no relevance really to any of us and costs us hundreds of thousands of euro every year.

It's time for us to realise that we won't be happy with anyone who applies, because deep down we are unhappy with the actual role of president.