Dublin City Council opts to not endorse any candidate to challenge 'outstanding' President Higgins

Dublin City Council has chosen not to nominate any candidates for next month's Presidential election.

Six candidates sought nominations at a special council meeting this afternoon.

James P. Smyth, Sarah Louise Mulligan, Peter Casey, Norma Burke, Gemma O'Doherty and Kevin Sharkey each made presentations to councillors at the meeting.

However, none of the prospective candidates received the endorsement of the council.

The motion to not endorse any candidate was put forward by Councillors Ray McAdam and Kieran Binchy, with their fellow Councillors voting 29-9 to approve the motion.

Cllr McAdam claimed today's meeting reiterated why President Michael D Higgins, who is seeking re-election, "has been an outstanding President for our country & should remain in the job for another 7 years".

Businessman Sean Gallagher and Senator Joan Freeman have the backing of the required four local authorities so far, meaning they will be on the Presidential ballot alongside President Higgins.

Only one other presidential hopeful, Dragons' Den star Gavin Duffy, only needs the support of one more council to secure his place on the final ballot.

Sinn Féin is also due to put forward a candidate on Sunday.

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