Micheál to say on Friday if he will run for President

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh celebrating his 80th birthday by climbing Mount Brandon last year. Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon
Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh celebrating his 80th birthday by climbing Mount Brandon last year. Credit: Photo by Ted Creedon

MARIAN O'FLAHERTY

LEGENDARY broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh will reveal on Friday whether or not he will make a bid for the Irish Presidency.

The West Kerry native is still mulling over the question of whether or not he will run for the Aras and spent time discussing the matter with his family in Dún Síon, Dingle, over the past number of days.

Mr Ó Muircheartaigh outlined his interest in a run for the Arás to The Kerryman last week, adding that despite being approached by a number of political parties, if he were to run it would be as an independent candidate.

Speaking to the Kerryman on Tuesday, Mr Ó Muircheartaigh said he was yet to make a call on the matter. However, he indicated that it is likely that he will confirm his final decision on the matter this coming Friday.

The sprightly 80-year old was speaking to the Kerryman from his home in West Kerry before leaving for an engagement in County Meath.

His interest to running for the Irish Presidency has sparked a wave of support across the country and, in particular, among the younger population.

Almost 5,000 people have to date signed up to a page on social networking website Facebook in support of a potential bid by the native Irish speaker.

Mr. Ó Muircheartaigh dismissed the idea that his age was a factor in his decision last week, telling The Kerryman that, to him, "age is just a number" and adding that it is his belief that "retiring from one thing doesn't mean you sit down and take no part in anything."

Mícheál, if he decides to run, would be (so far) the only Kerry person in the race for Arás 2011.

MEP and former GAA President Seán Kelly, withdrew his intentions to run for the Irish Presidency earlier this year, clearing the way for Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell to receive the party's nomination.

The backing of four councils or the support of 20 TDs or Senators is needed to secure a nomination.

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