CONFIRMED: Sean Gallagher has launched a second bid for President of Ireland 1 year ago

CONFIRMED: Sean Gallagher has launched a second bid for President of Ireland

"Today I can officially confirm my decision to seek a nomination as an Independent candidate for the 2018 Presidential Election."

Dragons' Den businessman Sean Gallagher has confirmed on Wednesday morning that he is running for President of Ireland for the second time.

The 56-year-old took second place behind Michael D. Higgins back in 2011, claiming 28.5% share of the vote, and some 200,000 first preference votes behind the current president.

In a statement released by Gallagher, he said: "Ireland is changing and the next President needs to provide a fresh approach at this important juncture for Ireland.

We have as a people an opportunity to redefine the role of President in the context of a changing society while cherishing all that is unique about Ireland."

He said the country is "confronted with many challenges" but there are also "emerging opportunities for Ireland to secure its position as a significant player within Europe and globally".

"This must be matched by creating an inclusive, diverse and equal Ireland for all, where diversity is not just accepted, but celebrated."

Gallagher's first bid came to an abrupt end back in 2011 when a Frontline debate which aired on RTÉ insinuated bogus claims about the businessman.

False tweets were read on air insinuating that Gallagher had collected a cheque from a businessman for Fianna Fáil to the tune of €5,000 emerged, changing public opinion almost instantly.

The broadcaster later apologised for the remarks.

He is set to pursue nominations through the local authority system because he believes councillors are "the closest link to the electorate".

Submissions seeking nomination for his campaign have been put in to 10 local authorities overnight.

A number of councillors have expressed interest in supporting the candidate, including a number of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael candidates who would be breaking ranks and not supporting the current incumbent as per their party's decision.

Presidential hopefuls need the support of 20 Oireachtas members or four local authorities to secure a nomination.

In the 2011 presidential race, Mr Gallagher was nominated by Cork City Council, Clare County Council, Leitrim County Council and Meath County Council.

The presidential election has been confirmed to take place on 26 October.

Main image via Sean Gallagher Facebook