Businessman and Presidential hopeful Gavin Duffy has expressed his delight at securing the nomination of Meath Co Council to contest this year's Presidential election.
Mr Duffy said he was very appreciative of those councillors who proposed and seconded his nomination and the other councillors who voted for him and gave him "the honour of being the first individual to have secured a nomination by a local authority".
He went on: “In declaring my candidacy earlier this Summer I indicated I would pursue a nomination through the local authorities. Over the last number of weeks, I have addressed councils up and down the country and I have been heartened with the courtesy afforded me and others during these hearings.
"I believe this process has been enriching for both the councillors and the prospective candidates as it has provided a platform where those putting themselves forward have been probed on their ambitions for the role as First Citizen. I have found the question and answer sessions with Councils enriching and informative."
Mr Duffy said he has never taken the support of any Council for granted and with that in mind has been determined to address as many Council meetings as logistics and time allows.
"Today alone I addressed Kerry Co Council in Tralee this morning, an afternoon meeting of Wicklow Co Council and conclude the day with an address to Cork City Council."
The former Dragons Den said securing the nomination of Meath Co Council was a significant step towards my goal of winning the backing of four local authorities.
"I look forward to addressing other councils in the coming weeks and outlining my vision for the Presidency, including my five pillars which centre on establishing an International Youth Corps; expanding Age Friendly Initiative; commitment to diversity and inclusion; the need to engage in a national conversation in restoring respect for one another and my commitment if elected President to boost investment into Ireland and help Irish companies increase overseas exports.”
Businessman Gavin Duffy has received the first nomination from a local authority to contest the presidential election.
The Dragon’s Den investor secured the backing of Meath County Council after councillors held a vote on Monday.
Mr Duffy received 17 votes, defeating fellow businessman and Dragon’s Den star Sean Gallagher, who gained seven votes, and Independent Senator Joan Freeman who received two.
Video confirming my decision to seek a nomination as an Independent candidate for the 2018 Presidential Election pursuant to Article 12 of the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/h1tVPCCrxx— Seán Gallagher (@seangallagher1) August 29, 2018
Mr Duffy secured votes from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Independent politicians, which he says confirms his cross-party appeal.
Sinn Fein councillor Caroline Lynch confirmed that Sinn Fein abstained from the vote as did four others.
In order to run for president, candidates require the support of at least four county councils or 20 elected representatives.
Local authorities in Kerry, Cork, Leitrim, Wexford and Wicklow will also all be addressed by prospective candidates.
Reacting to his nomination, Mr Duffy tweeted: “Thank you to the Councillors of Meath for giving me the first nomination in the 2018 Presidential Election.”
The presidential election will be held on October 26 and nominations have to be submitted by September 26.
Current president Michael D Higgins will nominate himself as an Independent candidate for another seven years in office.
He has also secured the backing of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, who have both agreed not to field candidates from their own parties.
Sinn Fein is due to field a candidate later in the month.
Dragons Den star Gavin Duffy received the first nomination from a local authority to contest the presidential election.
The businessman received the nomination from Meath County Council.
Mr Duffy secured 17 votes, businessman Seán Gallagher seven, and Independent Senator Joan Freeman two votes.
He said the votes he received conform his "cross-party appeal".
He still needs another three local authorities or 20 members of the Oireachtas to support his candidacy.
"Thank you to the Councillors of Meath for giving me the first nomination in the 2018 Presidential Election," Mr Duffy said.
"I am particularly pleased that I secured votes from FF, FG and Independents confirming my cross-party appeal."