Sean Gallagher will be on the ballot against Michael D. Higgins in October 2 years ago

Sean Gallagher will be on the ballot against Michael D. Higgins in October

Michael D. Higgins has a fight on his hands.

Presidential hopefuls (and former Dragons' Den dragons) Gavin Duffy and Sean Gallagher have both claimed the endorsements of county councils today, bringing them a step closer to the presidential election ballot in October.

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Gallagher is essentially guaranteed to face off with incumbent Michael D. Higgins after he won three endorsements today. The county councils for Galway, Leitrim and Roscommon all went for Gallagher on Monday morning.

Offaly County Council has also promised to endorse the businessman, who came very close to the Áras in 2011 before losing out to Michael D.

Duffy, on the other hand, won his second endorsement of the pre-campaign after he was given the green light by Carlow County Council. He already had the support of Meath County Council.

UPDATE: Sean Gallagher has secured a nomination after Wexford County Council became the fourth local authority to endorse him on Monday afternoon.

As it stands, only one other prospective candidate has won an endorsement. Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House, was endorsed by Cork County Council last week.

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In order to contest the presidential election, a prospective candidate needs to secure endorsements from four local authorities. Other hopefuls, such as Gemma Doherty, Sarah Louise Mulligan and Kevin Sharkey, are all without any endorsements. There are 31 county councils in total, allowing for a maximum of seven candidates to be nominated through local authorities.

Candidates can also be nominated if they secure the support of 20 sitting members of the Oireachtas.