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Fianna Fáil to support Michael D Higgins if he chooses to run for second term in office

A presidential election is due to be held in October.

President Michael D Higgins
President Michael D Higgins
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has confirmed that his party will not be fielding a candidate to challenge President Michael D Higgins should he decide to seek a second term in office.

An election is due to be held in October but if no candidates are put forward President Higgins will be re-elected without a contest, if he decides he wants another seven-year stint in Áras an Uachtaráin.

In a statement this evening, Martin confirmed that the party will support his candidacy, should the President decide to seek a second term in office.

The Irish Times reported on Saturday that President Higgins informed senior government figures of his intention to seek a second term in office. He has not yet made a formal announcement.

Speaking following a meeting with his parliamentary party at Leinster House the evening, Martin said: “President Higgins has served the country with great distinction over the course of his first term both at home and around the world. He enjoys widespread support across the country and has demonstrated his understanding and connection with communities across a broad range of issues in recent years.

His national leadership during our celebration of the centenary of the Easter Rising set the absolutely correct tone, and as we approach a series of centenaries of potentially more divisive events in our shared history, his experience and leadership will serve the country well.

Martin said that, for these reasons, he spoke with the Fianna Fáil frontbench and the parliamentary party today and confirmed their view that “Fianna Fáil will not field a candidate to challenge President Higgins and will be supporting his candidacy, in the event of him seeking a second term in Áras an Uachtaráin”.

In April, RTÉ broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan ruled herself out of running for president.

She had been tipped to run for the Áras, however, she released a statement putting rumours of her potential bid to bed.

Later that month, the outgoing chief of Barnardos Children’s Charity, Fergus Finlay, said he would be interested in running for president if President Michael D Higgins did not seek re-election.

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