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Dana: I’m running for President

The former MEP and Eurovision winner has launched another bid for the Áras, having finished third in the 1997 presidential election. Listen to her press conference here.

Dana launching her presidential campaign in Dublin today.
Dana launching her presidential campaign in Dublin today.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 5.30pm

FORMER INDEPENDENT MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon has announced her intention to run for President of Ireland.

Scallon, who ran for the presidency in 1997, has just told a press conference at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin that she is entering the race as an independent candidate.

Needing the backing of 20 Oireachtas members or the support of four county councils in order to be on the ballot paper, she said she is looking for Oireachtas support but said she would not divulge the number of possible supporters at the moment.

She said it was “highly likely I would need support from any and every quarter” and confirmed that she had held discussions with members of Fianna Fáil over the possibility of them backing her candidacy.

Fianna Fáil, she said, should allow their members to nominate an independent. The “days of the Áras belonging to the political establishment should be over”, she added.

She told the assembled reporters that she had always put the people of Ireland first and said:

You will never read an anti-Europe statement from me.

It was reported last month that in light of the withdrawal of David Norris, she would seek the backing of TDs and Senators.

Norris has since re-entered the race and is lobbying for the necessary support in order to be on the ballot paper next month.

Scallon finished third in the 1997 presidential election where she won 13.8 per cent of the vote.

She was elected an MEP for the Connacht-Ulster constituency in 1999, but failed to retain her seat in 2004.

She also ran in the 2002 general election in the constituency of Galway West as an independent but finished 11th in terms of first preference votes.

The former Eurovision winner had already been pulled from RTÉ’s reality television programme Celebrity Bainisteoir amid speculation that she was considering a run for the Áras.

- additional reporting from Susan Daly

Audio: Listen to Dana’s press conference in full >

Earlier: Dana pulled from Celebrity Bainisteoir over presidency bid >

In full: TheJournal.ie’s Race for the Áras coverage >

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Hugh O'Connell

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