• -
  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 5, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Who’s for the Park?

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    When it comes to the next President, we are spoilt for choice. The latest names to surface as possible candidates are Pat Cox and Jackie Healy-Rae. Add those to Senator David Norris, Fergus Finlay, Michael D. Higgins, Emily O’Reilly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Crowley, Senator Mary White … there must be more, but my head is spinning already!

    • Michael says:

      It seems that the FF brand will still be toxic by October. So I would imagine they would struggle to get big name outsiders in the same way they did when they tried for the Euro elections in 2009. It might also mean that some of their stronger internal potential candidates such as Brian Crowley, may decide against trying to run.

      FG it would seem have also been trying to recruit a big name outside candidate; Seamus Heaney declined. It will be interesting to see who they run.

      I wonder what is going on inside Jackie Healy Rae’s head. Is it just a case that he misses being in the limelight?

    • robespierre says:

      O’Reilly has firmly ruled herself out. John Bruton not quite as firmly.

      Personally, I would like to see somebody from the arts. We have mostly suffered failed politicians since Dubhglas de Hide and it is high-time a different accent is put on high office. Mary Robinson is the noble exception and covers humanitarianism.

      The only person with an Arts background at present is the ubiquitous Joycean scholar from Trinity. I think he could do quite well in urban Ireland but really quite badly in rural Ireland. Of the current candidates, he would be my preferred choice.

      If other candidates emerge – Seamus Heaney was mentioned as a Havel-like character – then I am open to a wider field but only as long as there is a vote. At the recent one-city, one-book event, Heaney seemed quite frail so I am far from certain how able he would be for even a reduced 5 year term.

      If a candidate from the Arts is neither forthcoming or credible then somebody from the Civil society sector would be broadly acceptable to me. Mary Davis has been mentioned but I wonder whether or not a perception would exist that she accepted a lot of positions under a Fianna Fáil administration including the Council of State – would the great work she has achieved in the area of diability go the way of an Adi Roche?

    • sonykopines says:

      My pref is for either Michael D (a cultured man an honest man a deserving man) or David Norris (ditto)(plus it’d be nice to have an oul’ queen in charge again)

    • You need to be over 35 to be President, I’m over 35….ok I’ve considered it and I’m not running, but I did think about it for at least all of 5 secs there so does that mean I was someone who was seriously considering it? Or does thinking about it for a much longer period of necessity make someone a more serious prospect because I look at some of those who are giving it ‘serious consideration’ and find it hard to think that many members of the broader electorate would give them any serious consideration for this position.

    • Paul says:

      Who from that list would use the presidential office to strive for greater societal progress than addresses to Law Society dinners? Who from that list would roll their sleeves up, past assembling the Council of State, in a time of economic apocalypse? Who would take note of, and perhaps act on, James McGuill’s critique of the Irish judiciary during his representation of MacFarlane in MacFarlane V Ireland at the EU Court of Justice? In other words, who would be a more proactive president than the current, and many before her?

    • For what it’s worth here is the betting from a prominent bookmaker’s:

      9/4 David Norris
      11/4 Michael D.Higgins
      4/1 Pat Cox
      6/1 Brian Crowley
      7/1 John Bruton
      9/1 Sean Kelly (ex GAA President)
      9/1 Fergus Finlay
      12/1 Mairead McGuinness
      20/1 Mary O’Rourke
      20/1 Seamus Heaney
      25/1 Bertie Ahern
      25/1 Mary Davis
      25/1 Mary White (FF Senator)
      25/1 John Hume
      25/1 Emily O’Reilly
      33/1 Dana Rosemary Scallon
      33/1 Miriam O’Callaghan
      33/1 Eamon O ‘Cuiv
      40/1 Gerry Adams
      50/1 Mary Lou McDonald
      50/1 Susan Denham
      50/1 Gay Mitchell
      50/1 Micheal O’Muircheartaigh
      50/1 Jackie Healy Rae
      66/1 Eamon Ryan
      66/1 Paul Hewson (Bono)
      66/1 Liz McManus
      66/1 Fergal Quinn
      66/1 Martin McAleese
      66/1 Marian Harkin
      66/1 Mary Hanafin
      66/1 Ali Hewson
      66/1 Alan Dukes
      66/1 Peter Sutherland
      66/1 Margaret Ritchie
      80/1 Maura Geoghegan Quinn
      80/1 Ivana Bacik
      80/1 Albert Reynolds
      80/1 Dick Roche
      80/1 Trevor Sargent
      80/1 & nbsp; Charlie McCreevy
      80/1 Ivan Yates
      80/1 Geraldine Kennedy
      80/1 Shane Ross
      80/1 Dermot Ahern
      100/1 Michael McDowell
      125/1 Eddie Hobbs
      150/1 Prof. Brian Farrell
      250/1 Louis Walsh
      250/1 Roy Keane
      250/1 Michael O’Leary
      250/1 Mary Kenny
      500/1 Shane McGowan

    • sonykopines says:

      I still think Bob Geldof would be great in the Park.

    • sonykopines says:

      I said david Norris or Michael D earlier before Deaglan put up the odds but anyway you’ll just have to take my word for it. My PRediCtions are all over the place. Didn’t I say Mr Gilmore would be T-Shock and Mr Kenny Tainaiste? Well that’s as I see it. Didn’t say when because it doesn’t say when. Sometime over or immediately thereafter the next 18 to 30 months at a guess. Anyway. Nice to get it wrong now and then. Start thinking you’ve second sight or something when you don’t.And that can be very dangerous. Look at our global financial systems for the proof of that.

    • a.commenter says:

      Fintan O’Toole…he’d get my vote

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Emily O’Reilly or David Norris are the only potential candidates at this stage who have any credibility.

      All the other possibilities fail any test of what they have sacrificed during the depression Ireland has gone through over the last three years. The likes of Bruton, Dukes, even Higgins have nothing to offer for the future, as evidenced by their failure to lead by example from the front on a range of issues.

      Then to see Jackie Healy Rae on a list – have we learnt nothing? What next – Bertie Ahern considering it again or even worse Brian Cowen? Why not go the whole hog and elect Lenihan – any of them – I mean we ‘owe’ for 1990 don’t we and apparently the family has done the state some service – never mind the fact Lenihan Jnr is responsible for the worst financial decision ever taken in the entire history of the state!

      It would be good for the new President to be a man as it is important that young boys see that a man can be President and David Norris has a proven record of standing up to the system and more importantly winning.

      I’d be proud to see David Norris represent Ireland abroad and think he would bring a bit of intellect and curiosity to the office but he’ll face the very same battle Mary Robinson faced in 1990 – in his case the homophobic jibes instead of sexist jibes.

    • a.commenter says:

      Bob Geldof…that well known Hibernophobe..give over…!
      Take out the Egoists from that list and who are you left with…?
      The more I think about it the more I think Fintan O’Toole would be perfect for the role…his understanding of the issues currently facing Ireland…his popularity and ‘connection’ with the wider public is undeniable as the response to his Opinion pieces in the IT have demonstrated…he’s clued up and tuned in and represents modern Ireland without being too esoteric…most importantly he has no ‘baggage’…
      Ball’s in your court Mr O’Toole…
      Whilst I’m about it… this Election is definitely one in which the Diaspora should have a vote…there can be taxation/representation gripes as the President is not involved in Government…

    • Ambrose says:

      What about Sean Fitzpatrick? We’re all paying for him anyway, might as well get some use out of him… :)

    • Eanna Kelly says:

      Bertie Ahern’s odds………………………………………..?

    • DES DARRAGH says:


    • Hamish says:

      No present or past politician should be considered. The political class have betrayed the Nation and the Nation’s children.

      It would be adding insult to injury to have one of these incompetent bloated plunderers of the public purse purporting to represent the Nation as we head into God knows how many years of austerity and emigration.

    • xx says:

      Vincent Browne would be brilliant and he could do the tv shows from the Áras………that’d be brilliant. Can’t believe he’s not on the list.

    • xx says:

      What was I thinking @ 16 !?
      There’s only one thing for it, we should give the presidency to Ajai. Mr Chopra has as pleasant a disposition as any and shure we’re under the IMF anyway.
      Chopper for the Áras! Deffo.
      His title – Ajai Chopra, President of the outlying EU state of Direland (former Republic of Ireland).

Search Politics