Seven councils reject Dana's presidency bid


Ms Dana Rosemary Scallon pictured outside Kerry County Council offices in Tralee talking to reporters last week.

Former MEP Ms Dana Rosemary Scallon's bid to gain support for her candidacy for the Presidency appears to have met with failure after motions to nominate her were rejected by seven local authorities this evening.

Ms Scallon needs the support of four local authorities in order to contest the election. 

Kildare, Donegal, Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath and both Limerick City and County Councils all rejected motions to back her  today while Galway City Council was the only one which passed a motion endorsing her candidacy

While her spokesman yesterday refused to identify the councils she had approached, Ms Scallon personally addressed a meeting of Kildare County Council this afternoon seeking support.  Two motions seeking the council's authority to support her as a presidential candidate were, however, rejected.

However, nominations for the presidency do not close until this Friday and Ms Scallon may still seek the support of 20 members of the Oireachtas by that date.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One,Ms Scallon said she was "delighted" there had been cross-party support for the motion put before the council by the Green Party councillor Mr Niall Ó Brolcháin.

But she condemned the imposition of party whips in the local authority votes, claiming councillors were being denied their democratic rights.

"I think the people of Ireland understand what has happened here," she said.  "The political establishment decided they did not want an election and we were told we didn't need an election.  But, in fact, there was an appetite for an election."

Ms Scallon said she believed an election was not just about "who you vote for" but was a time for debate on major issues faced by society.  She said one of the issues not currently being debated was the effect of the recently signed European constitution on the Irish constitution.

The former independent MEP has been hoping for last-minute support for her nomination for the presidential election from the 11 local authorities holding their normal monthly meetings today.