Aras an Uachtarain - the deadline for nominations for President is fast approaching
With the deadline for nominations for the presidency fast approaching the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council has called on all candidates to come clean and address the critical issues in the forthcoming campaign.
Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill said, “I have made it clear that I am more than happy to convene a meeting of the County Council allowing the candidates to make their pitch to the councillors. A date has not been decided upon yet but it will be sooner rather than later.”
He added: “I think there is now an onus on candidates to address such crucial issues as homelessness, rural decline and the health service.
“These are all issues which have dominated the headlines in the media over the last year and I feel it is crucial that we hear candidates' views on these matters. By and large they have been silent on these matters.
“I am aware of the restrictive powers of the presidency, but I honestly feel that the office of the president can be used as a platform to highlight the depth of the issue.
“The voters should not be confined to voting on a personality basis, they should be totally aware of the candidate's abilities and aspirations.”
O’Domhnaill continued, “I am aware that Fine Gael may have imposed the whip on their councillors but I can clarify that I have not received any instructions from our leader Michael Martin and in the interests of democracy we, in Fianna Fáil are prepared to listen to every candidate.”
Meanwhile seven people who hope to contest this autumn's Presidential Election will set out their stall in Kilkenny today (Friday).
The potential candidates are in search of the support of at least four county councils before they can be added to the ballot paper.
A candidate must be nominated by either:
(a) not less than 20 members of the Oireachtas, or
(b) at least 4 county and/or city councils.
A member of the Oireachtas or a county or city council may not nominate more than one candidate at the same election.
A former or the retiring President may nominate himself or herself as a candidate, as Michael D Higgins has done.
The seven potential candidates due to meet Kilkenny councillors this afternoon are:
James P Smyth
Senator Joan Freeman
William Delaney 1957 - 1970
Marie Goretti Moylan
The Irish presidential election of 2018 will take place on Friday, October 26.