Social democrats back Michael D. Higgins for second presidency term
According to reports, 76% of Irish people want to see Michael D. Higgins return as President for a second term.
The Social Democrats have announced that they plan to support current president Michael D. Higgins in the forthcoming presidential election, after a consultation process with party members through the National Council.
Speaking after the National Council decision on Sunday afternoon, party leaders Catherine Murphy TD and Róisín Shortall TD spoke about the incumbent's impressive track record and impassioned take on human rights.
“Michael D Higgins is a social democrat. He espouses a vision and values that match those of our party, the Social Democrats, and throughout his presidency has strongly articulated the case for a better, fairer Ireland.
“It is because of his admirable track record as President for the last 7 years of standing up for the most vulnerable and excluded in our society, of his consistent emphasis on equality and human rights, and of communicating a vibrant vision for Ireland across the world that the Social Democrats are pleased to support his candidacy.
“The next seven years bring a number of crucial challenges for the country. We will mark a range of centenaries; we will need to forge a new relationship with Europe; and we will have to reset our relationship with the UK after Brexit.
"The President will play a very significant leadership role in rising to these challenges. We believe that Michael D Higgins is well placed to provide that leadership.”
Higgins will join 10 other candidates all vying for the highest seat in Irish culture.
Three former television stars of Dragons Den – Gavin Duffy, Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey – have decided to seek the nominations from county councils.
Joining them in the runnings are Pieta House founder Joan Freeman, former Aer Lingus employee Patrick Feeney, artist Kevin Sharkey, musician Jimmy Smyth, dancer and impersonator Sarah Louise Mulligan, Roscommon farmer John Groarke, Westmeath native Marie Goretti Moylan and journalist Gemma O'Doherty
Presidential hopefuls need the support of 20 Oireachtas members or four local authorities to secure a nomination.
So far, Duffy has already secured one council nomination from Meath and Freeman has one from Cork City.
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 will take place on 26 October.