Businessman Sean Gallagher has become the first presidential challenger to receive sufficient nominations to run for Aras an Uachtarain.
Nomination tallies so far:
- Sean Gallagher: 4
- Joan Freeman: 3
- Gavin Duffy: 2
A flurry of votes and meetings in councils across the country today saw hopefuls pitch for their campaign, but the Dragon’s Den star is the first across the line to get the required four votes.
Speaking earlier at one council meeting, the Cavan man and 2011 runner-up described today as “a great day” as he edged closer to securing a place in the race.”I’m not seeking to be Michael D. Higgins’s replacement, I’m seeking instead to be his successor”.
He had already secured the backing of Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim County Councils by the time he arrived in Kilkenny.
But at just a few minutes before 4pm today, he got the backing of Wexford County Council, which brings him across the line with the required four council votes.
Other hopefuls continue today to seek council votes.
Senator Joan Freeman, the founder of Pieta House, today received the backing of Fingal County Council and Galway County Council, bringing her up to three votes after she won Cork City a week ago.
At a special meeting of the Council, councillors were addressed by Ms Freeman and by artist Kevin Sharkey.
The council ultimately endorsed Senator Joan Freeman by 14 votes to five over Dragon’s Den star Gavin Duffy.
Mr Gallagher’s name was withdrawn ahead of the vote once it was confirmed he had secured the backing of four other councils.
I have in the last few minutes formally asked the members of Offaly County Council to withdraw the motion to nominate me for the Presidential election now that I secured the required four nominations. They are now free to nominate an other candidate if they wish.
— Seán Gallagher (@seangallagher1) September 10, 2018
Waterford City and County Council will hold a special meeting on Friday afternoon to nominate a candidate.