Joan Freeman may be seeking nomination to run for presidency

Pieta House founder was appointed to the Seanad by Enda Kenny

Senator Joan Freeman: A number of TDs from the rural technical group confirmed they are willing to back her if she decides to run for president. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Senator Joan Freeman: A number of TDs from the rural technical group confirmed they are willing to back her if she decides to run for president. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Senator Joan Freeman is understood to be seeking a nomination to run for the office of president.

Ms Freeman, who is the founder of suicide charity Pieta House, has made contact with several Independent TDs and Senators in recent days to assess the level of support for a bid.

A number of TDs from the rural technical group confirmed they are willing to back Ms Freeman if she decides to enter the race.

The Irish Times was unable to make contact with Ms Freeman on Thursday. She would need the support of 20 Oireachtas members or four local authorities to secure a nomination.

A presidential election is expected to take place on October 26th, alongside two referendums on the woman’s place in the home and on the offence of blasphemy.

Second term

President Michael D Higgins is to outline next week if he intends to seek a second term in office, which he is widely expected to do.

Sinn Féin is likely to put forward a candidate, and Senator Gerard Craughwell is also seeking nominations to enter the race.

Several sources confirmed Ms Freeman’s supporters were doing “a lot of ringing around” to garner support for a potential run.

Ms Freeman was appointed to the Seanad by former taoiseach Enda Kenny in 2016 and is the chairperson on the committee on mental health.

She founded Pieta House but left the role last year to occupy a new position with a similar organisation called Solace House in New York.