"Do you want a president who'll be 85 in the last year?" David Norris claims Michael D. Higgins is too old for a second term as President
Norris ran against Higgins in the 2011 presidential election.
Scholar, senator and former presidential candidate David Norris has claimed that Michael D. Higgins is too old and thus should be deemed unfit to run for a second term as President of Ireland.
In a scathing attack, Norris told the Seanad that he believed the president's age is an issue in him running for a second term.
“With the best will in the world, do you want a president who’ll be 85 in the last year?” he asked Senators.
"Because, forget about ageism, it’s the truth."
Norris ran against Higgins in the 2011 presidential election, but only received 6.2% of the vote.
News of Higgins' alleged interest in a second term spread over the weekend, as sources reported that the President informed a number of Cabinet Ministers about his intention to stand again, ahead of a formal announcement next month.
On Tuesday, Micheál Martin, on behalf of his party, announced that Fianna Fáil would support Michael D. Higgins in his quest for a second term, should he intend on running.
Martin went on to say "he enjoys widespread support across the country and has demonstrated his understanding and connection with communities across a broad range of issues in recent years".
Upon being elected in 2011, Higgins made it clear that he would only be a one-term President, but appears to have softened his stance since.
An election is due to be held in October but if no candidates are put forward, President Higgins will be re-elected without a contest, if he decides he wants another seven-year stint in Áras an Uachtaráin.