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Dublin: 12°C Friday 18 September 2020

Justice Catherine McGuinness was approached to run for president...but she wasn't interested

The former Supreme Court judge said she doesn’t regret her decision to turn it down.

Justice Catherine McGuinness
Justice Catherine McGuinness
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

JUSTICE CATHERINE MCGUINNESS has said she was once asked to run for the Áras an Uachtaráin, but she said she wasn’t interested.

Speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on her radio programme on RTÉ, McGuinness, a former Supreme Court judge, said she was approached to run for the presidency.

McGuinness confirmed that she had been approached in the past, but said that she really didn’t want to run at the time.

Right person for the job

“… Other people at the time said don’t do that, you are important where you are. I didn’t feel that it was or I was the right person for that.”

She said she felt she had a lot to do as it was and stated that she never regretted her decision of turning it down.

McGuinness has been a widow since the death of her husband Proinsias Mac Aonghusa in September 2003. She said he fully supported her decision at the time.

Speaking about the job of being president, she said she didn’t think it was suited to her:

… it is a job where you really have to settle down to the fact you have to be really nice and polite to everybody… you’re not being able to say what you think…

However, she said that President Michael D Higgins tries his level best “to say what he thinks and succeeds very well at it”.

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