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Presidential race begins

Wednesday, 29th August, 2018 5:05pm

Let the games begin! Nominations to contest the next presidential election can be submitted from 10am this morning.

Both Cork city and county councils have arranged for special meetings to take place where potential presidential candidates can make presentations to councillors in a bid to seek a nomination.

City Hall yesterday confirmed that its special meeting will take place at 7pm next Monday and comes after the council was contacted by a number of people seeking a nomination to run.

These potential candidates have not been confirmed by the council but it’s believed that Gavin Duffy, Sean Gallagher, Senator Joan Freeman, James Smyth and Gemma O’Doherty are likely to be amongst those attending.

Sean Gallagher, who came second in the last presidential election, threw his hat in the ring for a nomination yesterday morning.

Last week, Cork County Council revealed that its meeting would take place on 7 September at 12pm.

Roscommon farmer John Groarke, Senator Freeman and Gavin Duffy contacted Cork County Council and requested the meeting. They have all been invited to attend on 7 September.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael head honchos have said that they are happy with current President Michael D Higgins and will not be fielding any candidates. However, this is not the case for Sinn Féin who have said that they will be running a candidate to contest President Higgins.

Rumours were abound that local MEP Liadh Ni Riada would run, however a party spokesman said that no decision will be made until after the party meet for the party’s Ard Chomhairle on Sunday 16 September.

Other people who are looking to be Ireland's next president include musician Jimmy Smyth and Marilyn Monroe impersonator Sarah Louise Mulligan, who is also the CEO of the IrishWhoLovePresidentTrump.com.

Patrick Feeney, a former Aer Lingus employee and Marie Goretti Moylan, a former civil servant, have also expressed an interest in being elected.

News had also emerged that Fine Gael councillors had been sent a letter asking that they neither propose nor support other candidates. However, Fine Gael Cllr Des Cahill told the Cork Independent that, as of yesterday he had still to received this letter and that he wasn’t aware of his other three city colleagues getting a letter either.

“That’s not to say they haven’t,” he added.

He said: “I’ve looked at the list of candidates and no one is really jumping out at me to be honest. At the same time, I’m personally glad that there is going to be an election. I think there should be because I don’t like the idea that someone should stay on because they are going a great job. I wish we could all do that but we all have to get re-elected.”

Fianna Fáil TD Margaret Murphy O’Murphy said she happy with her party’s decision to support President Higgins in taking up another term in the Aras.

She said: “I think he’s done a great job. I couldn’t fault anything he has done wrong in the past seven years to give any reasons why he shouldn’t run again. It would also save the state the a lot of money not to have an election.”

The last day for receipt of nominations is 26 September with Ireland set to vote on 26 October.

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