The Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has slammed suggestions that the Presidency should go to a man this time around as the position has been held by a female for four consecutive terms.
Ms McGuinness has been tipped as a presidential candidate and says nobody would ever think of saying that a man wouldn't qualify because of his gender.
Ms McGuinness said: "This is not about the gender of the president, this is about who is best to be president of Ireland. We happen to have had two very good presidents who were women.
"I do not think that the public would see it in that light, commentators would since it makes for a very interesting discussion, but I think will people will vote for a president on the basis of who they believe will be the best for the job and that their gender will not be the key point."