The four who might be in the presidential race
Joan Freeman, Padraig Ó’Céidigh, Gerard Craughwell or Kevin Sharkey may stand against Michael D
Joan Freeman of Pieta House at Pieta House, Bishopstown, Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Ms Freeman was a Taoiseach’s nominee to the current Seanad. Although she was appointed by former taoiseach Enda Kenny, she was nominated by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin as part of the confidence and supply deal.
Ms Freemen is the founder of Pieta House, the organisation which helps those suffering from suicidal ideation or from self-harm.
Mr Ó’Céidigh was also appointed to the Seanad by Mr Kenny, on foot of a recommendation from Mr Martin. From Galway, the businessman is the founder of Aer Arann Express and Aer Lingus Regional airlines. He also chaired the Oireachtas Committee on Water Charges, which was established to settle the contentious political issue at the outset of this Government.
Mr Craughwell was elected to the Upper House in a Seanad byelection in October 2014, which was caused by the election of Deirdre Clune to the European Parliament. The byelection was notable for the controversy surrounding the attempt by Fine Gael to elect John McNulty just a week after the Government appointed him to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Mr Craughwell is a former president of the Teachers Union of Ireland.
Mr Sharkey is an artist who first came to prominence as a television presenter in the 1980s. He was born in Dublin and raised in Donegal. He was born in St Patrick’s Nursing Home on the Navan Road in the capital in 1961. He has said he was illegally adopted from the home and given to a couple in Donegal. He has called for an “honest, open” debate on immigration to Ireland.