Presidential Election

  • At least five candidates will contest the presidential election next month after two Independent contenders each won the backing of four councils yesterday, with a third Independent on the verge of securing a nomination.

    Businessman Seán Gallagher and Senator Joan Freeman both reached the required four council endorsements yesterday , a day in which 13 local authorities nationally debated or voted on presidential nominations.

    Sean Gallagher, who finished second in the 2011 election, won nominations from Roscommon, Leitrim, Mayo and Wexford county councils yesterday, with Fianna Fáil councillors backing him heavily.

    In Mayo, Mr Gallagher did not even have to make a pitch to councillors yesterday  - they nominated him in his absence. He was just one of the many contenders that were “no shows” at yesterday’s special meeting of Mayo County Council.

    The only contender that attended and laid out her stall, Sarah Louise Mulligan failed to secure a nomination from Mayo county councillors.

    Independent Senator Joan Freeman yesterday eveningsecured the backing of Galway City Council. 

    Earlier in the day she gained the support of Galway County Council and Fingal County Council.  She also has the nomination of Cork City Council since the beginning of this month.

    Louth businessman Gavin Duffy also moved closer to securing a nomination yesterday, he got the backing of Carlow County Council. As of last night he had two nominations and with a further endorsement expected from Louth County Council next Monday, his place on the ballot paper is almost assured when nominations close on September 26th.

    President Michael D Higgins has already indicated he will seek re-election and Sinn Féin is expected to announce its candidate on September 16th – next Sunday.


  • Castlebar Tidy Towns has contacted all the Presidential Election candidates to advise them of a poll which indicated that 92% of respondents don’t want posters erected in the town.

    In an update on their social media yesterday, they said they had received a number of responses.

    Gavin Duffy, Joan Freeman and Sean Gallagher campaigns all said they won’t be using posters.

    President Michael D Higgins’ campaign responded to say they have instructed their postering company not to erect posters in Castlebar.

    Castlebar Tidy Towns have today thanked Sinn Féin for removing their campaign posters of Liadh Ni Riadh around Castlebar Town. In particular, Castlebar Tidy Towns thanked the local campaign team and Councillor Joe McHale for their swift action. Those responsible for erecting the posters were not aware of our request at the time they were put up so we appreciate the effort to remove them at what is a busy time for all campaigns.

    Peter Casey has not responded to two letters sent to him in the past week.

    Castlebar Tidy Towns says this initiative is to keep Castlebar at a level that secured a gold medal this year. They thanked the 5 campaigns who responded during what is a busy time for them and also for the support they have received from members of the public.





    Counting is underway in the Presidential election with a landslide victory for Michael D Higgins on the cards.

    He's likely to win another seven years in Áras an Uachtarain with Peter Casey looking like the runner up.


    With Dublin Central 50 per cent tallied Michael D Higgins was getting 7 in every 10 votes, roughly mirroring the picture in the rest of Dublin

    There Liadh Ni Riada was in second with Peter Casey third.

    The national trend though shows large pockets of support for Mr Casey

    Cavan/Monaghan is showing high levels of support for local man Seán Gallagher, early tallies giving him 20 per cent behind Michael D Higgins in the mid 40s

    Not good for Gavin Duffy in his home county though - one box in Dundalk had zero votes for the businessman.

    In Waterford some boxes have Peter Casey as high as 25 per cent

    Michael D Higgins was leading Mr Casey 55-20 after 60 boxes were open in Cork - with native Liadh Ni Riada 4th after Sean Gallagher

    One box in Portlaoise saw Michael D Higgins get 100 of 182 votes with Peter Casey getting 59 of the rest.

    Donegal has seen a number of spoiled votes - 13 co-ordinated ballots with anti-abortion written on them

    While a box in Arklow saw three spoiled votes - all for Gemma O'Doherty

    There is no tally person at the count centre in the Royal Theatre in Castlebar today so no official tally figures. However looking at one box in the West Mayo Municipal District, the national trend seemed to be reflected. 

    The overall picture is a comfortable win for Michael D Higgins, with Peter Casey in the early 20s after him and a dogfight for third between Liadh Ni Riada and Seán Gallagher. 



  • Eamon O'Cuiv is the latest name to be linked with the Presidential election, but the Galway West TD has been unavailable for comment this morning.

    It emerged yesterday evening that Galway Fianna Fail Councillor Ollie Crowe has written to all party councillors across the country, rallying support for Deputy O'Cuiv to contest the Presidential election.

    It's reported today that the Galway West TD gave permission for the email to be sent to party councillors on Friday.

    However, the Fianna Fail parliamentary party has voted to support Michael D Higgins for a second term in Áras an Uachtaráin, and not to field a candidate.

    Councillor Crowe believes 95% of FF councillors and grassroots members believe the party should contest the Presidential election.

    He says this should have been a decision for the party's national Executive, rather than the parliamentary party.

    Councillor Crowe confirmed he had Deputy O'Cuiv's permission to lead the campaign, and says he believed there's strong support for Eamon O'Cuiv to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Eamon De Valera, who served as President from 1959 to 1973.

     He's confident Mr O'Cuiv would have the support of at least four local authorities.

    Meanwhile, Senator Joan Freeman and businessman Gavin Duffy will make their first appeals today as they bid for Presidential nominations.

    Waterford City and County Council will be the first to declare this afternoon after holding a special meeting to hear from the two candidates.

    According to the guidelines, potential candidates have to secure the backing of four local authorities in order to get on the ballot paper.

    Total Valid Poll 33,707 - Spoiled 371

    Casey 11,227 Duffy 516 Freeman 1,545 Gallagher 1,379 Higgins 18,011 Ni Riada 1,029

  • At least five candidates will contest the Presidential election next month.

    It's after businessman Gavin Duffy secured the backing of a fourth local authority today - Waterford City and County Council.

    He joins his former Dragon's Den co-star Sean Gallagher, Senator Joan Freeman and Michael D Higgins on the ballot paper.


  • Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell has this morning confirmed to Midwest News that he will not be contesting the Presidential Election in the autumn.

    In a statement, Senator Craughwell said last year he had become concerned that the main political parties were "working together to deny the citizens of this Republic the opportunity to select their next President by means of an election."


    The majority of the counts are in in the Presidential election.

    Michael D Higgins will be comfortably re-elected as President.


    With the majority of centres reporting it's a clear victory for Michael D Higgins.

    He'll poll above 50 per cent and be elected on the first count.

    In Dublin the sitting President's vote was much stronger with over 70 per cent voting for him in Dun Laoghaire.

    Mr Higgins has already exceeded the amount of votes he got in 2011.

    Businessman Peter Casey has amassed almost 300,000 votes, around 23 per cent of the electorate.

    It's a dogfight for third between Liadh Ni Riada and Sean Gallagher - both disappointing and coming in around 6.5 per cent.

    Joan Freeman is just under 6 per cent and Gavin Duffy will be last.

    In Dublin Central he received just 200 votes.

    The official declaration is likely to come sometime after 7



  • The results of the Mayo count in the Presidential election are in this evening. 
    Total Poll was 42,027 and spoiled votes totalled 593
    The following is the result: 
    Casey 12,850
    Duffy 937
    Freeman 2,663
    Gallagher 2,235 
    Higgins 20,642
    Ni Riada 2,107


    Michael D Higgins says he appreciates the significance of the honour placed on him by the people of Ireland.

    Elected to an historic second term with more than 820,000 votes - the writer, poet and academic spoke passionately at Dublin Castle last night, about his plans for the next seven years.

    He said a real republic is a republic of responsibility, where every person is encouraged and supported, and treated with dignity and respect.


  • Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice has got the support of 19 Independent TDs and Senators to back the nomination of a candidate seeking to contest the Presidential election.

    Investigative journalist Gemma O'Doherty is the latest to announce her intention to seek a nomination for the presidency.

    She is one of a number of independent candidates seeking a nomination.

    A candidate needs the support of 20 Oireachtas members or 4 local authorities to secure a nomination.

    Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour have all decided to support current President Michael D Higgins' bid for a second term, while Sinn Fein confirmed earlier this Summer that it would be fielding a candidate, but has not yet announced the candidate.

    Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice believes that-in the interests of democracy - the Independent Oireachtas members should facilitate a candidate to contest the election, but is not asking his colleagues at this point to state their preferred candidate.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice told Midwest News this evening that he will be contacting his Independent colleagues again this week on the matter...

  • A new poll on the Presidential election shows Michael D Higgins with a clear lead heading into next week’s vote.

    The Behaviour and Attitudes survey for the Sunday Times puts the incumbent on 69 percent - a clear advantage over second placed Sean Gallagher on 11.

    930 people took part in the poll between October 5th and 16th, so the debate on the Pat Kenny Show on Tuesday night on Virgin Media One was not factored in.

    The rest of the candidates sit on single figures - Liadh Ni Riada on 7, Joan Freeman on 6, Gavin Duffy on 4 and Peter Casey on 2.

  • Roscommon County Council will hold a special plenary meeting tomorrow afternoon to hear presentations by candidates seeking a nomination for the Presidential election.

    Up to 9 candidates could address the local authority, and as of yesterday evening, seven of the nine have indicated that they will be attending the meeting.

    These include Dragon Den stars Peter Casey and Sean Gallagher , together with Senator Joan Freeman , journalist Gemma O’Doherty, along with Patrick Feeney, Sarah Loiose Mulligan, and Kiltoom native Marie Goretti Moylan.

    A spokesperson for Roscommon County Council told Midwest News yesterday evening that they are still awaiting confirmation from two other candidates – Tulsk farmer John Groarke and artist Kevin Sharkey.

    A formal resolution will not be made at tomorrow’s meeting , but nominations will be accepted and a date agreed to vote on the nominee or nominees.

    Pieta House founder , Senator Joan Freeman was endorsed last night by Cork City Council for a nomination to run as a candidate in the Presidential Election.

    Earlier yesterday , businessman Gavin Duffy received the backing of Meath County Council to contest the  election.

    On Monday next at 11am in Aras An Chontae in Castlebar, Mayo county council has convened a special meeting to hear Presidential hopefuls.


  • The Presidential election will be held on Friday October 26th.

    The Minister for Housing & Local Govt Eoghan Murphy has confirmed he'll sign the order to hold the Presidential election today, meaning those hoping to run for President will have 28 days to get their name on the ballot.

    They need the backing of four local councils or 20 TDs or Senators to run for the office.

    Local authorities will be meeting over the next two weeks to make their nominations and a number of them have already heard pitches from candidates.

    Nominations will close on September 26th with the election being held a month later.

    The winner will be inaugurated on November 11th.


  • Candidates hoping to contest next month's Presidential election will be on the campaign trail again today, as both Roscommon and Wexford County Councils hold special meetings to hear presentations from candidates.

     Hopeful candidates need the backing of four local authorities or 20 Oireachtas members to get their name on the ballot paper.

     Roscommon County Council will meet at 2.30 this afternoon and councillors expect to hear presentations from up to 9 candidates, while Wexford County Council meets at 9.30am this morning. 

    To date, two candidates have each received the backing of one local authority - Gavin Duffy was supported by Meath Co Co on Monday, while later that evening, Cork City Council gave its support to Senator Joan Freeman.

     It appears that Séan Gallagher is likely to receive the backing of Leitrim Co Co in his bid to run for the Presidency.

    After hearing from candidates at a meeting on Monday, three councillors have proposed motions supporting Mr Gallagher's candidacy for approval next Monday.

    It's understood that, as there's no counter motion in favour of any other candidate, councillors will approve his nomination.



  • Roscommon County Council will hold a special plenary meeting next Monday to vote on candidates nominated for the Presidential election.

    A number of hopeful candidates addressed Roscommon Councillors yesterday.

    Three Councillors have subsequently nominated businessman Séan Gallagher, with two nominating Senator Joan Freeman, and one councillor nominated journalist Gemma O'Doherty.

    The nominees will be voted on at next Monday's meeting, which gets underway at 9am.

    Mayo County Council will also hold a special plenary meeting next Monday to hear from candidates seeking nominations to contest next month's Presidential election.


  • Sean Gallagher has received his first endorsement to run as a candidate in the Presidential Election.

    Roscommon County Council has voted to give the businessman its backing.

    Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman also have the backing of one county council so far.

    Presidential hopefuls need the endorsement of four local authorities or 20 Oireachtas members to get on the ballot paper.

  • The race for the Aras is heating up.

    Sean Gallagher is now officially a candidate and Joan Freeman and Gavin Duffy are edging closer to securing the nod.

    Businessman Sean Gallagher has secured a nomination to contest the Presidential Election after receiving the support of four local authorities.

    Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Wexford county councils all voted in favour of Mr Gallagher running in the election next month.

    Despite not attending today's meeting, Mayo County Council have nominated Sean Gallagher to run as a candidate in the Presidential Election.

    Councillors voted by 12 to 10 in favour of a proposal to back the independent candidate.

    Mr Gallagher's candidacy was supported by Fianna Fáil and some Independent members of the Council. 

    Only one of those seeking a nomination attended a special meeting of the local authority in Castlebar this morning and that was Sarah Louise Mulligan.

    Mr Gallagher was not present for the vote. 

  • Independent senator Padraig O'Ceidigh has ruled himself out of running for the presidency.

    There had been speculation the Connemara native, founder of Aer Arann Express and Aer Lingus Regional, would make an attempt to join the Presidential race, but has now decided not to.


    So far, just two candidates have been endorsed by a local authority -  Gavin Duffy and Senator Joan Freeman.

    Candidates will today continue to seek votes from local councils in Wexford and Roscommon.

  • Sligo County Council will meet later this month and discuss two motions to endorse candidates for the Presidential Election.

    Councillors will discuss motions to endorse Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey when they meet on Monday September 24th according to RTE News.

    Seven people seeking an endorsement for a nomination to contest the Presidential Election addressed the council yesterday.

    The council heard from Mr Gallagher, Mr Casey, as well as Patrick Feeney, John Groarke, Kevin Sharkey, Gemma O'Doherty and Sarah Louise Mulligan.

    Mr Gallagher has already secured a nomination to run.

    He told the meeting he is not seeking further endorsements and suggested to councillors who might have been considering a motion to endorse him, to feel free to instead advance other candidates.

    He was later criticised by Mr Sharkey, who said he was surprised to see Mr Gallagher in Sligo, given he had already secured a nomination.

    The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Martin Baker wished each of the candidates well.