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It's official - six candidates to contest presidential election as nomination process ends

It begins.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

THE RACE FOR the Áras officially got underway at 12 noon today as the nomination process shut. 

Joan Freeman, Gavin Duffy, Peter Casey, Sean Gallagher, Liadh Ní Riada and the incumbent Michael D Higgins will be on the ballot paper come 26 October. 

Journalist and activist Gemma O’Doherty was unable to secure a nomination through local authorities. Her last ditch effort to get 20 members of the Oireachtas to nominate her also failed. 

O’Doherty said she had secured the signatures of 11 TDs and senators but was unable to reach 20 by the time the process closed this afternoon.

Barring the incumbent and Sinn Féin’s pick (Ní Riada), every other candidate has effectively been on the campaign trail since last month – pitching their ideas to councils up and down the country. 

Higgins will launch his campaign later on today.

Ní Riada has wasted no time in getting her campaign started as her posters started popping up across the country this morning. 

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On 26 October, people will be asked to both vote on the next president while also casting their ballot on whether we should remove the offence of blasphemy from the constitution.

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