Irish Presidential Election 2018

Its official as of this week the Irish Presidential Election will take place on Friday, October 26th. On the same-day, there will vote on Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Repeal of offence of publication or utterance of blasphemous matter) Bill 2018.

A number of candidates are vying to get on the on the ticket to challenge sitting President Michael D Higgins. There are three ways to get on the ballot paper, a sitting President (or former President who served only one term) may nominate themselves, nomination by 20 members of the Oireachtas or by nomination by 4 local authorities.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have both said they will not be nominating a candidate and will be supporting the President. Labour who nominated Michael D Higgins in 2011 are supporting him in this election.

Sinn Fein will also be announcing a candidate. They have a process in train and will announce a candidate on the 10th of September.

The last Presidential election in 2011 had a record 7 candidates, this year could equal that or exceed it providing that the independents in the Dail and Seanad agree on a candidate and the county councils nominate the maximum number of candidates. There are 31 councils (26 County Councils, 3 City Councils and 2 City & County Councils), 4 per candidate meaning 6 possible candidates from this route, as well as the incumbent and the Sinn Fein Nominee, meaning a possible 8 candidates from the 11 announced so far.

I hope to keep this post updated as nominations come in before the deadline on September 26th

So who are the candidates?

Confirmed

Nominations Received (4 councils or 20 Oireachtas members needed)

Looking for Nominations

  • Peter Casey – Businessman
  • Patrick Feeney – Retired Aer Lingus Worker
  • Mannix Flynn – Independent Councillor on Dublin City Council
  • John Groake – Farmer
  • Marie Goretti Moylan – Volunteer
  • Sarah Lousie Mulligan – Entertainer
  • Gemma O’Doherty – Journalist
  • Kevin Sharkey – Artist
  • James Smyth – Musician

Possible Sinn Fein Candidates

  • John Finucane – Solicitor
  • Liadh Ni Riada – MEP

Withdrawn Candidates

End of an Era

 

Mary McAleese
Image via Wikipedia

Tonight at midnight Mary McAleese finishes her Presidency after 14 years as President of the Republic of Ireland. While I do not remember much of her election or the campaign preceding it, I do have a memory of much of her years as President as I was 11 when she was elected and have grown a lot since!

I have lots of memories of President McAleese, from her national address the  day after the September 11th attacks to the visit of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II this year. But I have a personal memory of President McAleese which I will always treasure.

During my time a s a Scout Leader, President McAleese paid a visit to the Family Resource Centre in Togher. It was an emotional and exciting day for the centre as the woman who was in charge had grown up in the same area as President McAleese and was overjoyed at the visit. President McAleese spoke will and with conviction and she received a massive applause.

My great memory though is when she was leaving I was given command of the Guard of Honour being given by the 37th Togher, my unit and the local Guides Group. After giving the commands the President thanked me. She was so genuine and it is a moment I always treasure.

President McAleese has served this country well and she can look back on the last 14 years  with much pride. I wish her and her family all the best in the future.

Asking the Candidates: If elected will you continue to use Facebook/Twitter

Free twitter badge
Image via Wikipedia

After thinking about all the tweets and facebooking from the Irish Presidential Candidates, I decided to ask them if they would contine use Twitter/Facebook if they were elected President of the Republic of Ireland.

I asked the question on Twitter initially, but then posted it also on the candidates Facebook to give them all a fair chance of responding.

These are the respons in the order I have recieved them and on what medium they responded on.

Mary Davis – Facebook

Hi Stephen, when I am elected I will definitely ensure that social media is a key part of my Áras an Uachtarán communications.

Sean GallagherFacebook

Certainly Stephen. I was using both Facebook and Twitter well before I announced my intention to run for the Presidency. Social media and new technologies mean that I can reach people and hear what you, the people of Ireland are saying more clearly than ever before. Best wishes, Seán

Michael D HigginsTwitter

@spiller2 if elected I hope to continue using social media Stephen #aras11

Martin McGuinnessTwitter

@spiller2 I do indeed Stephen

UPDATE 20:25

Dana Rosemary Scallon Twitter

@spiller2 I’m still learning, but I will keep it up while I’m in office. It’s a great way to connect with the people. #aras11 #dana

Senator David Norris (Team) – Facebook

Hi Stephen, I have asked your question and can confirmed a David Norris Presidency would certainly be using Social Media to make the Office of President even more accessible while continuing on the fantastic dialogue David Norris has enjoyed throughout his campaign. Admin (Ronan)

I have yet to recieve a response from Gay Mitchell. When I do I will update this post.

Diary of A Canvasser: #Aras11 Edition

Mary Davis Sticker

As with every election campaign, I am out on the streets and talking up my preferred candidate or cause. This time out, just like with Lisbon 2, I have left Fine Gael behind to support a different group.

If you weren’t aware, I am supporting Mary Davis for the Irish Presidency. There are many reasons for this. but I think she is best placed to represent Ireland abroad and to engage Irish communities at home.

On Friday I went on my first canvass for the presidential election. We decided to canvass the Cork City V Finn Harps match in Turners Cross. The last time I canvassed this I didnt get a great reaction as we were campaigning for a yes vote for Lisbon 2, so I was a litte apprehensive, but boy did i get a surprise.

The reaction for Mary Davis was amazing, I have never canvassed for a candidate and got such a positive response.  Granted a few people were saying ” We dont need a president” etc and a few had made up their minds, but overall a lot of people were interested in Mary and contemplated voting for her.  A few people of course wasn’t sure who she was but once we said she was an independent candidate they did become interested.

There was a bit of slagging about the “Airburshing/Image enhancement” but someone show me a candidates poster which hasn’t been airbrushed!

It will be interesting to see how the campaign develops after the debates and as the candidates get more coverage.

I will of course continue the Diary as the campaign continues

13 Councils to decide on Presidential Nominations Today

Dún Laoghaire Town Hall
Image via Wikipedia

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.