It is likely that Sean Gallagher will be the next person to seek nomination for Presidency of Ireland 1 year ago

It is likely that Sean Gallagher will be the next person to seek nomination for Presidency of Ireland

Gallagher ran in the 2011 Presidential Election which saw Michael D. Higgins win.

It appears that 2011 Presidential Election runner-up Sean Gallagher is set to run for office again as a number of councillors have said that they will publicly back his campaign, should he choose to run.

Just last week, it was announced that the businessman was "actively considering" a second bid at the president.

Since then, the Irish Examiner has reported that two Fianna Fáil councillors and a third Fine Gael councillor are set to ignore party leaders Mícheál Martin and Leo Varadkar's calls to support President Higgins' re-election campaign by publicly backing Gallagher's presidential bid.

It is understood that the three councillors will announce their public support for the Dragon's Den panellist in the coming days.

A further four councillors are also allegedly showing interest in Gallagher's bid.

Leitrim Fine Gael councillor John McCartin recently defended his decision to support Gallagher’s bid on Ocean FM, despite his party’s backing of Higgins.

He insists he has not disobeyed any party directive and has accused Higgins of pursuing a Euro-sceptic insular agenda.

Gallagher came in second to Ireland's current president, Michael D. Higgins, seven years ago – when a Frontline debate which aired on RTÉ insinuated bogus claims about the businessman.

The 56-year-old claimed a 28.5% share of the vote, some 200,000 first preference votes behind Higgins.

False tweets were read on air and suggestions 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.

Miriam O'Callaghan spoke to Fianna Fáil Councillor for Kerry County Council Niall Kelleher, and to Independent Councillor for Roscommon County Council Tony Ward on Friday's episode of Today with Seán O'Rourke about Gallagher, as both men claim that he will run.

They also expressed interest in supporting his nomination.

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.

Speculation is still mounting in the coming months about a number of other possible candidates running for the presidency.

Marilyn Monroe impersonator Sarah-Louise Mulligan and investigative journalist Gemma O'Doherty have expressed interest in recent months as well as artist Kevin Sharkey, while former GAA president Liam O’Neill is also considering a run.

The presidential election is set to take place on 26 October.

Main image via Sean Gallagher Facebook