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Martin won’t block FF councillor support of ‘independent’ candidates

May 8th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Elections, Irish Politics

Now that it has all settled down after the general and Seanad elections, some thoughts turn to Aras an Uachtarain.

David Norris is traversing the country looking for a nomination and is beginning to address council meetings and seek support. Today he’ll be looking for Wexford County Council’s support. Dragon Sean Gallagher announced his intention to contest the election on Friday night on the Late Late show (he wants to turn the Aras into a theme park or something) and he has said he will be seeking the nomination of councils so that he can contest the election. Four council nominations are needed.

With Gallagher’s Fianna Fáil tinged hat now in the ring (large ring, many players) news from Micheál Martin today that the party will not be telling FF councillors who to vote for or not vote for as councils are approached for their support.

Given that there is no incumbent standing and the experience of previous elections where a contest increased the standing of the office, we believe that there should be a contest between a range of candidates who are potentially credible holder of the office of President.

“It is the Fianna Fáil view that the people of this country are entitled to have as wide a choice for the office of President as possible and that this choice should not be limited to the official nominations of the political parties. For this reason, I will not be taking the same approach as other parties as they seek to block the nomination of independent candidates and will permit party representatives to facilitate the candidacy of individuals who they believe should have the right to stand before the

The statement has a shot at Fine Gael’s recent edict to councillors not to support David Norris’s candidacy via the council nomination process. But is it more about supporting Sean Gallagher than it is about support for a candidate like Norris? Martin has confirmed that Fianna Fáil will take the next month to decide on their candidate and he confirmed that there will be a contest.

Paddy Power’s latest odds on the race or who they believe to be in the race include Gallagher at 20/1

David Norris 13/8
Michael D Higgins 11/4
Pat Cox 6/1
Mairead McGuinness 6/1
Brian Crowley 9/1
Sean Kelly 11/1
Fergus Finlay 12/1
John Bruton 14/1
Sean Gallagher 20/1
Emily O’Reilly 25/1

Mary Davis, Mary White, Brian Crowley are all names floating about seeking the FF nomination with Mary Davis (50/1)  anxious to appear independent in doing so.


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