Presidential election: Joan Freeman secures nomination

Presidential election: Joan Freeman secures nomination

Latest: Joan Freeman has become the latest person to be confirmed as a candidate in the Presidential election.

    Nomination tallies so far:
  • Sean Gallagher: 5
  • Joan Freeman: 4
  • Gavin Duffy: 2

The Independent Senator has this evening secured her fourth council nomination from Galway City Council.

She already has the support of Cork and Galway County while she secured Fingal earlier today.

Sean Gallagher was confirmed as a candidate earlier today when he crossed the line with the backing of five councils: Wexford, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Former Dragon's Den star Gavin Duffy currently has two nominations from Meath and Carlow.

4.02pm: Sean Gallagher becomes first candidate to get Presidential nomination

Businessman Sean Gallagher has become the first presidential challenger to receive sufficient nominations to run for Aras an Uachtarain, writes Juno McEnroe.

A flurry of votes and meetings in councils across the country today saw hopefuls pitch for their campaign, but the Dragon's Den star is the first across the line to get the required four votes.

Speaking earlier at one council meeting, the Cavan man and 2011 runner-up described today as "a great day" as he edged closer to securing a place in the race."I'm not seeking to be Michael D. Higgins's replacement, I'm seeking instead to be his successor".

He had already secured the backing of Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim County Councils by the time he arrived in Kilkenny.

But at just a few minutes before 4pm today, he got the backing of Wexford County Council, which brings him across the line with the required four council votes.

Presidential election: Joan Freeman secures nomination

The 2011 runner-up, who entered this year's race less than two weeks ago, repeated in Kilkenny the apology he has made in other arenas to the people who were going to vote for him seven years ago until his appearance on RTÉ's The Front Line debate the week of that election.

Other hopefuls continue today to seek council votes.

Senator Joan Freeman, the founder of Pieta House, today received the backing of Fingal County Council and Galway County Council, bringing her up to three votes after she won Cork City a week ago.

At a special meeting of the Council, councillors were addressed by Ms Freeman and by artist Kevin Sharkey.

The council ultimately endorsed Senator Joan Freeman by 14 votes to five over Dragon's Den star Gavin Duffy.

Mr Gallagher's name was withdrawn ahead of the vote once it was confirmed he had secured the backing of four other councils.

Speaking to reporters after her selection, she said she is confident she will secure the fourth nomination needed to be a candidate for the position.

Businessman Gavin Duffy has also received the support of Carlow County Council today, after he won Meath's backing last week.

Wicklow and Galway City are among other councils meeting today. Nominations close on September 26 while the vote will go ahead on October 26.

2.33pm: Gavin Duffy secures second nomination; Gemma O'Doherty pulls out of meeting

Carlow County Council has endorsed Gavin Duffy as their preferred Presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, another Presidential hopeful Gemma O'Doherty has pulled out of a scheduled appearance at a meeting of Fingal County Council this afternoon.

Ms O'Doherty, who is seeking a Presidential nomination, was due to face questions from Jimmy Guerin, brother of murdered journalist Veronica.

Last week, Ms O'Doherty claimed that there was State collusion in the murder of Veronica Guerin. Mr Guerin said that her remarks were "hurtful, offensive and disgusting" and that she is "going nowhere" in her bid to becoming President.

Today at the special meeting of Fingal County Council, he said that "there was no conspiracy and I would ask she would let my sister rest in peace."

Earlier today, Ms O'Doherty addressed Monaghan County Council.

Presidential election: Joan Freeman secures nomination

Update: 1.30pm: 'Cautiously optimistic' Sean Gallagher receives third nomination from County Council

Sean Gallagher has taken a significant step towards becoming a candidate for the Presidential election with an endorsement from Leitrim County Council.

The former Dragons' Den star has now received the backing of Leitrim, Roscommon and Mayo County Councils this afternoon.

He just needs one more to get on the ballot paper.

Seán Gallagher addressing Westmeath County Council . Pic: Kinlan Photography
Seán Gallagher addressing Westmeath County Council . Pic: Kinlan Photography

Fellow businessman Gavin Duffy has one and Senator Joan Freeman also has one.

Gallagher says he's hopeful the support of councillors will get him into the race for the Áras.

"From the support and encouragement I'm getting from councils and councillors across the country, I'm optimistic that we'll get the support of the four councils to allow me [to run] as a former candidate," he said.

"Once I've secured that, then I'll look forward to the campaign.

"In all things, one can never be presumptuous, but I am cautiously optimistic."

Earlier: Sean Gallagher receives second nomination from local authority

Former Dragons' Den star Sean Gallagher has now received the backing of two County Councils in his bid to become a Presidential candidate.

Mr Gallagher received his first two endorsements in the past few hours with Roscommon and Mayo County Councils giving him the nod.

Presidential election: Joan Freeman secures nomination

At a meeting of Mayo County Council, 12 councillors voted in favour of Mr Gallagher while 10 voted against him.

10 councillors voted for the businessman at a meeting of Roscommon County Council this morning, while Joan Freeman and Gemma O'Doherty received three and two votes respectively.

Mr Gallagher joins Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman who have now all received nominations, with Mr Duffy and Ms Freeman having each secured support from one local authority.

Eight other councils are due to meet today to decide who they will endorse as their Presidential candidate.

Councils must endorse one candidate only, and the deadline for nominations is September 26 at 12pm.

Earlier: Presidential hopefuls to appear before councils today

A number of prospective candidates will appear before council meetings today seeking endorsements to run in the Presidential election.

10 local authorities will meet today as the race for the Áras gathers momentum.

Presidential election: Joan Freeman secures nomination

The election will take place in less than seven weeks' time on October 26.

Hopeful candidates must secure support from four local authorities, or 20 TDs and Senators in order to contest the election.

President Michael D Higgins has signalled he intends to seek another seven years in the Áras and sitting presidents can nominate themselves to run for a second term.

Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman have each secured support from one local authority.

Councils in Roscommon, Westmeath, Offaly, Fingal, Wicklow, Galway city, Kilkenny, Wexford and Leitrim are expected to meet today.

Digital Desk

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