Ó Cuív not seeking nomination for presidency, say sources
Source close to Fianna Fáil TD says Ó Cuív now says he will not go against party’s decision
Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cúiv is understood to have told party colleagues he will not seek the party nomination for the presidency. File photograph: Cyril Byrne
Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív is understood to have told party colleagues he will not seek the party nomination for the presidency.
He has also said he did not want the issue to be brought up at the party’s think-in which is due to take place next month in Malahide, Co Dublin, ahead of the Dáil and Seanad resuming after the summer recess.
Galway councillor Ollie Crowe, who is close to Mr Ó Cuív, said last week that the Galway West TD told him he wanted the prospect of Fianna Fáil standing a presidential candidate to be discussed at the annual parliamentary party think-in.
However, Mr Ó Cuív – who has repeatedly refused to answer calls and texts on the issue of him running for the presidency – is now understood to have told colleagues he did not want to be nominated to contest the election.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has already backed incumbent Michael D Higgins for a second term. One source who has spoken to Mr Ó Cuív in recent days said the former minister now says he will not go against the party’s decision.
Separately, businessman Seán Gallagher has started contacting councillors over his expected presidential bid. Although sources said Mr Gallagher had not specifically asked councillors for their support, it was confirmed he was discussing the prospect of running with them.
Mr Gallagher came second to Mr Higgins in the 2011 presidential election. In order to get on the presidential ballot paper, a candidate needs the support of four county councils or 20 members of the Oireachtas.
Independent Roscommon TD Michael Fitzmaurice is attempting to form a group of 20 TDs and Senators to facilitate the entry into the raceof a candidate.
Mr Fitzmaurice said he had the support of 19 Oireachtas members for his initiative, and said it would be disappointing if a candidate did not emerge from the route of Dáil and Seanad nomination.
Make their case
He also said potential candidates could come before Independent TDs and Senators to make their case.
“If we want to go down the road of bringing them in and letting them have their say, then I’d be open to that,” he said.
Mr Fitzmaurice is appealing for more backing for his plan from non-aligned TDs and Senators. However, some of those – such as TDs Michael Collins and Michael Harty – have already declared their support for Joan Freeman, the Pieta House founder.