Wednesday 20 March 2019

Presidential election hopefuls seek county council meeting

A number of people have written to Wicklow County Council requesting a special meeting to seek nomination for the presidential election.

They include Pieta House founder Sentator Joan Freeman, entrepreneur Gavin Duffy, and artist and activist Kevin Sharkey.

Any of them would need the support of 20 Oireachtas members or four local authorities to secure a nomination.

Senator Freeman said that she wants to seek the council's support at the earliest opportunity as candidates cannot be formally nominated by the council until the Presidential Order is passed by the Minister of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

'In 2011, that order wasn't passed until August 30,' wrote Senator Freeman.

'The practical effect is that, in the anticipation of such an order, prospective candidates' hands are tied by the Government in progressing individual campaigns to compete in the presidential race'

She said that without an indication of support from the councils, it will prove difficult to raise finance and put personnel in place for a campaign.

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Pat Vance said that he doesn't intend to convene a special meeting at this time. However, nine councillors could do so if they wished.

'First of all it's not legal as such. None of our own members are pushing for a meeting either on it, or any great desire to promote any one individual,' said Cllr Vance. 'I've no plans at this stage, given that there are an awful lot of people on holidays and things like that,' he said.

Wicklow People