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Gemma O'Doherty fails to secure enough council nominations to contest presidential election

The journalist secured her first county council nomination earlier today.

Gemma O’Doherty giving a speech in July.
Gemma O’Doherty giving a speech in July.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Updated Sep 24th 2018, 5:45 PM

JOURNALIST GEMMA O’DOHERTY has failed to secure enough nominations from county councils to get on the ballot for October’s presidential election. 

Despite receiving her first nomination from Laois County Council earlier today, O’Doherty has run out of opportunities to get the four nominations required before the deadline this Wednesday. 

Earlier today, Laois Today reported that four councillors voted for her nomination and thirteen abstained while two were absent. 

The outlet reported that Cllrs Caroline Dwane Stanley (SF), Ben Brennan (Ind), Aidan Mullins (SF) and Paschal McEvoy (FF) each voted for O’Doherty.

Potential candidates need the support of four county councils or the backing of 20 Oireachtas members in order to contest the election. 

Cork County Council voted against nominating O’Doherty today by a margin of five in favour, 28 against and six abstentions. 

Galway County Council voted to support Joan Freeman in the upcoming election, while Kildare, Sligo and Donegal County Councils have all decided not to nominate a candidate. 

Last week, 19 independent TDs and senators announced that they had failed to agree on a presidential nominee. 

A statement issued by TD Michael Fitzmaurice and Senator Gerard Craughwell, who organised the meeting, said the group failed to reach a consensus following a “robust debate”.

However, the independent group of Oireachtas members could technically change their minds before the dealine and nominate O’Doherty or another candidate. 


In a Facebook post last night, O’Doherty had thanked a number of councillors who had promised her support. 

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She had appealed to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to “not block my vote this time”.

“I am really grateful to Cllr Ben Brennan for all of the work he has put into this, and to SF’s Aidan Mullins for his backing. I have also been nominated by Independents in Cork County Council,” she said. 

The motion to nominate O’Doherty was put forward by Brennan who told TheJournal.ie that she is a person who “fights for what she believes”.

“We’re very pleased as she is an excellent candidate and she is entitled to put her name before the people,” he said.  

With reporting from Adam Daly 

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Rónán Duffy

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