Today Mary Davies became the first Independent Candidate to get the backing of four councils for this years Presidential Election. Both Monaghan and South Tipperary Councils passed official nominations, meaning that Ms Davies has passed the constitutional minimum to be on the ballot paper following her nomination last week by Galway County Council and Sligo County Council.
Since then both Kerry County Council and Wicklow County Council have also passed nominations in support of Ms Davies.
Mayo County Council will be meeting at 5pm to discuss her nomination, while Galway City Council will be meeting at 7pm to also discuss her nomination.
Waterford County Council is also expected to back Ms Davies later today.
Waterford City and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Councils will also discuss nominating Ms Davies, but Sean Gallagher also has a chance of winning the backing of Waterford City. While in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Fine Gael and Labour Councillors have placed motions supporting their respective party candidates.
A number of Councils that have pledged backing Sean Gallagher, the other Independent to follow this route are set to meet later this evening and mean that Mr Gallagher will join Ms Davies on the Ballot as he only requires the backing of two more councils having already been nominated by Leitrim County Council and Meath County Council.
Also today it has emerged that former MEP and 1997 Presidential Candidate, Dana Rosemary Scanlon, has secured the backing of Matti McGrath TD. She now requires the backing of 19 more Oireachtas members. She will be meeting with the Technical Group later this week and is hoping for some support from Fianna Fail in getting the Nomination.
13 County and City Councils will today decide which candidate to back in the years Presidential Election. Four Local Authorities nominations are needed by a candidate to be on the ballot.
So far four Councils have passed nominations. Galway County Council and Sligo County Council have nominated Mary Davis. While Meath County Council and Leitrim County Council have nominated Sean Gallagher.
Of the Councils meeting today, Mary Davis is expected to secure the nomination of six councils: Monaghan, Kerry, Mayo, Waterford county, Wicklow and Galway city. She will also be addressing Cork County Council today.
Mr Gallagher is also set to get support from six of the councils meeting today: Carlow, Wexford, Cork city, Clare, Cavan and Waterford city. He will be addressing both Wexford and Carlow Councils today.
If all the councils pass as expected then that will give each candidate 8 nominations each and ensure their place on the Presidential Ballot.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council will also today discuss nominating a candidate for the Presidential Election. Four motions have been laid before the council. Two are in support of Mary Davis, while the Labour Grouping have placed a nomination for Micheal D Higgins and the Fine Gael Grouping have nominated Gay Mitchell.
Fine Gael is the largest party on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown with 12 seats, followed by Labour with 8. Fianna Fail have 4 and PBPA and Independents have two each. It is doubtful any candidate will get enough support, but will be interesting to watch.
Expect the nominations to roll in quick and fast as the councils meet this afternoon.
This week has the campaign for the Irish Presidency has got properly under-way. Official nominations have begun to passed by nominating Local Authorities. So far five local authorities have used there constitutional right to nominate a candidate.
Sean Gallagher is the closest independent candidate to gaining a full nomination having received the backing of three councils. Meath County Council, Leitrim County Council have nominated him, while Cork City Council will officially nominate him at a meeting next week following a special meeting last night. Mr Gallagher has also the received motions of support from four other councils including, Longford County Council, Donegal County Council, Roscommon County Council and Clare County Council.
Mary Davis has is halfway to the nomination. So far she has received nominations from two councils, Galway County Council and Sligo Council. She also has the support of six other councils. They include Louth County Council, Monaghan County Council, Mayo County Council, Limerick County Council, Kerry County Council and North Tipperary County Council.
In regards to the Party Candidates Labour’s Micheal D Higgins has begun to gather his 20 signatures at the Labour Party think in. Both Ciara Conway and Aodhan O’Riordain have tweeted about signing Micheal D’s nomination papers.
Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell seems to be continuing his campaign and as far as I can tell has no signatures signed yet, but he does have until the 28th of September and with the Fine Gael thinking starting today, he will begin to gather them.
A campaign to get David Norris to re-enter the campaign for the Aras is still going, they have a petition going and will be on the streets of Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway gathering signatures.
It is doubtful that David Norris will get the nomination as I cannot see 20 oireachtas members or four councils backing him in the time left.
One other thing to note will be the absence of a Fianna Fail Candidate on the ballot. This will be the first Presidential Election in which Fianna Fail will not contest. Whether this is a good idea or not only time will tell, but it certainly wont help them to win back votes and certainly seems to be a money saving idea.