Battle on for presidential nominations

The race for the Presidency appears to be hotting up with more candidates preparing to declare.

The race for the Presidency appears to be hotting up with more candidates preparing to declare.

Former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox is set to seek the Fine Gael nomination after applying for membership of the party.

And the Irish American campaigner and New York based journalist Niall O'Dowd is also seeking support for a nomination.

Pat Cox has written to the St Luke's branch of Fine Gael in the Cork North Central Constituency applying for membership of the party.

He has also sought approval by the party's executive council which will on Tuesday next week and is likely to make a decision that day.

The 58-year-old is a former TD, MEP and President of the European Parliament.

He is likely to seek the nomination of Fine Gael for the Presidency. Already, Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness has said she wants the Fine Gael nomination, while Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell has also expressed some interest.

Meanwhile Irish American campaigner Niall O'Dowd believes he can secure the nomination of 20 Oireachtas members after being encouraged to do so.

The New York-based journalist is a brother to the Fine Gael junior Minister Fergus O'Dowd.

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