Presidential round up: Full list of who local authorities backed

Six candidates will contest the presidential election on October 26th

All local authorities have heard from would-be presidential candidates and made decisions on nominations

Six candidates will contest the presidential election on October 26th. Incumbent President Michael D Higgins can and has nominated himself to run for re-election. Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada received the support of 20 Oireachtas members from her party.

The other four contenders; Independent Senator Joan Freeman, and three Dragons’ Den panellists Seán Gallagher, Peter Casey, and Gavin Duffy, all received the backing of four local authorities. Here is a round-up of the decisions taken by each local authority:


Businessman Mr Duffy won the endorsement by 14 votes to two, with members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour supporting him. The only other candidate to be proposed and seconded in Waterford was journalist and campaigner Gemma O’Doherty, who was backed by Independent councillors Seán Reinhardt and Joe Kelly.


Dublin City

Dublin City Council voted not to endorse any candidate for the 2018 presidential election. Six presidential hopefuls were present in the council chamber on Thursday, September 13th, to plead their case for a nomination for the upcoming election. A theatrical presentation from Norma Burke, also know as Bunty Twuntingdon-McFuff, led to outrage and disgust from councillors in attendance.


Kilkenny County Council voted not to nominate any candidates for the 2018 presidential election. A motion to nominate Gemma O’Doherty was defeated on Monday, 5-7, with 11 abstentions.


Seán Gallagher’s name went back on the presidential ballot paper after Wexford County Council approved his nomination early on Monday afternoon. Mr Gallagher was one of two nominees, the other being Ms Freeman. Mr Gallagher secured 16 votes from Fianna Fáil and Independent councillors in the 34-person council and Ms Freeman received 10.

Galway County

Galway County Council has nominated Senator Joan Freeman to stand as a candidate in the presidential election. Ms Freeman was one of three candidates nominated at a special meeting of Galway County Council. Also nominated were Mr Casey and Mr Gallagher, although Mr Gallagher did not attend to make a presentation. Ms Freeman won by 12 votes to seven for Mr Casey and six for Mr Gallagher.

Galway City

Two nominations – that of Ms Freeman and Mr Gallagher – had been made to Galway City Council after a presentation by nine candidates to councillors last week. Mr Gallagher indicated he would be happy to withdraw as he had already secured the support of four local authorities. Seven councillors supported Ms Freeman, there was one vote against, and eight abstentions, while two councillors were absent.


Former RTÉ Dragons' Den panellist Peter Casey and journalist Gemma O'Doherty attended a special meeting of Monaghan County Council to seek support for their selection. The council decided to adjourn the proceedings to a further special meeting to decide on the question of support for potential contenders. However, no motions were put forward by any councillors to propose any of the candidates seeking nominations, so the council did not vote on the matter.


Mr Gallagher received his third endorsement of the day in his bid to become a presidential candidate after Leitrim county councillors backed him on Monday. Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Bohan told colleagues that Mr Gallagher had been "shafted" by RTÉ in the last presidential election and deserved a second chance.


Seven presidential hopefuls were due to make contributions to a special session of Mayo County Council but only one turned up, Sarah Louise Mulligan. All the other scheduled speakers sent their apologies stating that they could not attend due to similar meetings elsewhere. Strongly backed by Fianna Fáil members, Mr Gallagher was nominated to contest the presidency on a 12-10 vote.


Mr Gallagher secured 10 of the 16 votes available. Three councillors voted for Senator Joan Freeman, and two voted for Gemma O’Doherty. One councillor abstained and two were absent.


Joan Freeman received her third nomination to contest the presidential election on Monday afternoon when Fingal County Council endorsed the independent senator. Ms Freeman and businessman Gavin Duffy were the only two candidates to have their names put before the council after Sean Gallagher withdrew his name from consideration. Ms Freeman won the contest by 14 votes to five.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has decided against holding a special meeting to nominate a candidate for the presidency. The council’s Organisation, Procedure and Protocol committee recommended that members should hold a special meeting if they wished to nominate a candidate. However, a full meeting of the council on Monday night decided not to proceed with the nomination process.

South Dublin

South Dublin County Council voted against nominating any candidate. Sarah Louise Mulligan was ejected from a meeting of the local authority as she made her pitch to councillors for a nomination, after she shouted at Social Democrat councillor Dermot Looney, demanding an apology for a remark he made. Gemma O’Doherty also addressed the meeting seeking a nomination.


Sean Gallagher visited the council headquarters in Tullamore along with candidates William Delaney, Peter Casey and Gemma O’Doherty. Mr Gallagher thanked the eight Fianna Fáil members who had offered him their support but asked them instead to leave the field open for other candidates, as he had already secured the required nominations. The local authority did not nominate any candidate.


Wicklow County Council voted to give Gavin Duffy his third nomination.


Kerry County Council gave businessman Peter Casey his first nomination. He was proposed by Fianna Fáil.


The majority of councillors on Louth County Council voted not to nominate someone for the election. However, given the vote was not unanimous, a further meeting was earmarked in case any of the councillors wished to nominate someone before the deadline of September 26th. However the meeting did not proceed as no prospective candidates were proposed.


Elected members of Clare County Council voted for Peter Casey’s name to appear on the ballot paper for the election of President. At a September meeting of the local authority held in Áras Contae an Chláir, seven councillors voted to put forward the businessman to contest. Eighteen elected representatives of the local authority abstained from voting, these included all eight Fine Gael councillors, seven Fianna Fáil members, two Independents and Sinn Féin’s sole councillor Mike McKee. Clare councillors were addressed by Peter Casey, Gemma O’Doherty, Sarah Louise Mulligan, Joan Freeman, Kevin Sharkey and Sean Gallagher.


Peter Casey received a third local authority nomination as a candidate for the presidential election, following a vote by members of Limerick City and County Council on Tuesday.


Peter Casey become the third panellist from the Dragons’ Den TV show to make it onto the ballot paper for next month’s presidential election after he was endorsed by Tipperary County Council. Mr Casey won 13 votes at the Tipperary County Council meeting in Nenagh, with journalist Gemma O’Doherty taking eight votes. Mr Casey’s votes came from a mix of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and independents, with Ms O’Doherty’s votes from Sinn Féin and independents. Labour’s Fiona Bonfield abstained. Afterwards, he said it was an “amazing” two days during which he secured the necessary four council endorsements. “I’m so excited to get, now, into the race proper,” he said.

Cork County

Cork County Council voted overwhelmingly not to nominate Gemma O’Doherty, after she was proposed by Independent Cllr Diarmaid Ó Cadhla. Five councillors voted in favour of her nomination, 28 voted against the motion, and six abstained


Sligo County Council met on Monday, September 24th. Two motions to nominate Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey were withdrawn, as both men had already secured places on the ballot.


Donegal County Council decided not to nominate any prospective candidate, as no councillors proposed motions to nominate any individuals.


Laois County Council nominated journalist Gemma O’Doherty, with four councillors voting to support her and 11 abstaining from the vote.


Kildare County Council held a special meeting on September 24th to vote on the issue, with motions to endorse Gemma O’Doherty and Sean Gallagher (who had already secured sufficient nominations) on the agenda. However, the council voted against nominating any candidate.


Louth businessman Gavin Duffy secured the backing of Carlow County Council.


Sean Gallagher was endorsed by Cavan County Council.


Longford did not back any candidates in the race.


Meath County Council voted to back Gavin Duffy to contest the presidential race.


Westmeath County Council chose not to nominate any candidate.

Cork City

Independent Senator Joan Freeman received her first nomination from Cork City Council on Monday, September 3rd to run for the presidency. Nine Fianna Fáil councillors and four independents, including Lord Mayor Cllr Mick Finn and one Fine Gael councillor backed her after hearing a presentation where she spoke about how she would highlight mental health if elected to the Áras.