By Elaine Loughlin, Political Correspondent
Fianna Fáil have "no hesitation" in supporting Michael D Higgins for a second term as President of Ireland.
Party leader Micheál Martin has said President Higgins has "captured the pulse of the people" at the right moments and said people should not run against him "for the sake of opposing him".
It comes after the President this morning finally announced that he intends to run for a second term in office.
Speaking outside Leinster House, Mr Martin said: "I think the people of Ireland want a president who will represent them well, with distinction overseas and also domestically who responds to key moments in our own story. He has done that very well.
"As a party we have made it very clear that we believe the president has done a very good job, I think he has been a strong president, he has been engaged and he has represented the country abroad with distinction. He has reached out to many communities across this country, particularly young people and in that instance I believe he deserves reelection," said Mr Martin.