Presidential hopefuls to meet council

Louth County Council will meet with three presidential hopefuls this Thursday to decide who to lend their support to in the race for the Áras.

Louth County Council will meet with three presidential hopefuls this Thursday to decide who to lend their support to in the race for the Áras.

Local hopeful Sean Gallagher, of Dragon’s Den fame, will be one of a trio to meet with county councillors on the day.

The Blackrock man will be hoping to impress the 26 members more than poll favour David Norris and Mary Davis of Special Olympics fame.

Candidates need the backing of four local authorities to officially enter the race with one respected newspaper predicting that Gallagher would receive the ‘nod’ from four authorities in the coming weeks having secured “the unofficial backing of Longford and Clare, with strong support also coming from Louth councillors.”

As well as meeting with Louth County Council this week, he will also meet councillors in Roscommon and Donegal before meeting with Leitrim councillors on July 4.

Fine Gael have instructed their councillors not to support any individual candidates, however, ahead of their selection convention on July 9. Ardee-based MEP Mairead McGuinness is one of four putting her name forward for the candidacy along with Pat Cox, Gay Mitchell and Avril Doyle.

Speaking last week, Sean Gallagher said that “the focus of the campaign is about restoring confidence to our communities because I believe Ireland is not just an economy, it is a collection of communities.”

Senator Norris, who has the support of 11 of the 20 TDs and senators required was in Dundalk last Thursday to meet with supporters in this area. He met a group of around 20-25 people in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Meanwhile Labour Party senator Mary Moran has thrown her support behind party candidate Michael D Higgins.

She said: ““I am delighted that Michael D Higgins has been selected as the Labour party Presidential candidate. He is indeed a worthy candidate and I look forward to working with him to ensure the best possible vote in Dundalk and surrounding areas.

“The primary qualification for the office of President of Ireland is the capacity to act as a statesperson, capable of reminding the Irish people that we are a resilient nation, able to withstand difficult conditions

“As Michael D Higgins has said himself, Ireland is not without hope, even if it is tormented by our present economic difficulties.

“I wish Michael D the very best of luck in the forthcoming election campaign, and as the best candidate of all of the names to emerge thus far, I am confident that he will prevail. Both I, and the Labour Party in Dundalk and Louth will do all it can to support him,” she said.