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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Race for the Áras

"Flattered" Sheen insists he won't run for Áras

Speaking in Chicago, Irish citizen Martin Sheen says he’s touched by an online petition asking him to run, but that he won’t.

ACTOR MARTIN SHEEN has put an end to speculation that he would consider a run for the Presidency of Ireland.

Speaking at an event in Chicago last night, the actor – real name Ramon Estevez – said he was “flattered” by an online campaign encouraging him to run for the presidency.

He insisted, however, that he would not be interested in seeking a nomination – repeating earlier assertions that he would not be interested in a full-time political career.

Sheen, 70, is an Irish citizen – his mother is from Tipperary – and spent a semester studying English literature, philosophy and theology in NUI Galway in 2006.

Although widely known for his roles in Badlands and Apocalypse Now, he is perhaps best known for playing another president – US president Josiah Bartlet – in Aaron Sorkin’s celebrated TV drama The West Wing.

A Facebook campaign encouraging the 70-year-old to run for election has attracted almost 5,000 members. Paddy Power currently offers odds of 33/1 that Sheen will be the next president – the longest odds of any of the 11 candidates it will offer a price for.

Yesterday was proclaimed ‘Sheen Day’ by Illinois governor Pat Quinn, to mark Sheen being given the Career Achievement Award at the 47th Chicago International Film Festival.

Read: Could Martin Sheen be the next President of Ireland? >

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