Maireád McGuinness in Áras bid

 

Fine Gael MEP Maireád McGuinness this evening declared her intention to seek her party's nomination for the presidency race.

In a speech in Athy, Co Kildare, Ms McGuinness said she was "regularly asked" if she intended to run for election, and that she was "honoured and humbled that people would even ask me that question".

"Having thought long and hard about it, tonight I want to tell you that I have decided to seek the nomination of the Fine Gael Party to run for the presidency," she said while opening the Annual Adult Athy College Art Exhibition.

"I am making this announcement here at this celebration in Athy because I firmly believe the seeds of hope for our country will be found in our power to create and in the infinite ability of our collective imagination. It is in our creativity that we will find the capacity to bring about a new vision for this country."

Ms McGuinness said she would work with people "in imagining a renewed, creative and dynamic Ireland".

Earlier this month, former Independent TD for Kerry South Jackie Healy-Rae said he would make a decision shortly on whether to seek support for a nomination to contest next October’s presidential election.

Independent David Norris has written to councillors around the country asking them to nominate him as a candidate.

Mr Norris, who has been a Dublin University Senator since 1987, will seek to emulate Dana Rosemary Scallon when she received enough support in 1997 from local authorities to allow her to run as a candidate.

Under the Constitution, every candidate for the presidential election must be nominated by either 20 members of the Oireachtas or by four local authorities.