| 12.3°C Dublin

Martin a big loser in race for President

It now looks as if there are just four candidates in the presidential race. While hordes of hopefuls have gradually dropped out of the contest, the knock-on effects have spread far wider than presidential wannabes.

Micheal Martin's leadership of Fianna Fail is now being brought into question over his handling of the Gay Byrne affair.

Party rank and file are losing patience with what they see as their leader's poor judgment in backing the broadcaster without consulting the party faithful.

When Gay Byrne subsequently decided not to run, Mr Martin was left looking foolish.

Add to this the anger of Fianna Fail MEP Brian Crowley, who is blaming his own departure from the presidential race squarely on Mr Martin.

Perhaps with all of the side shows out of the way, the four remaining candidates can get down to the election issues.