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Labhrás Ó Murchú pulls out of presidential race

The Fianna Fáil senator had hoped to run as an independent candidate.

Labhrás Ó Murchú
Labhrás Ó Murchú
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL SENATOR Labhrás Ó Murchú has pulled out of the presidential race citing his wish to longer prolong uncertainty within the party over the issue of the presidency.

The four-term senator had hoped to run as an independent candidate with the backing of independent Oireachtas members and some of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

He would have needed 20 signatures in order to be on the ballot paper.

Last night he told TheJournal.ie he believed he could get sufficient support in order to be on the ballot paper if the party’s 33-strong parliamentary party was allowed a free vote with members free to nominate who they wish for the presidency.

But in a statement today he said:

Last week, in requesting Fianna Fáil, which will not have its own candidate, to allow a free vote to facilitate my entry into the Presidential election, I suggested a moratorium of 24 hours, prior to a decision being taken, to allow for a consensus to emerge through consultation.

This request could not be accommodated.

Following meetings with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and speculation in the media about his leadership, I do not wish to prolong uncertainty within Fianna Fáil.  I will not, therefore, continue to seek nominations from individual Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members.

In the absence of such nominations, I could not achieve the 20 nominations required.  I am accordingly withdrawing my name as a prospective candidate for the office of Uachtarán na hÉireann – an office which deserves our respect and loyalty.

The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting is currently taking place with the party leadership expected to decide whether to allow members a free vote to nominate whichever candidate they choose or to not take an active role in the presidential election having already decided not to run its own internal candidate.

Independent candidates Dana Rosemary Scallon and David Norris will be hoping that the party allows members a free vote in order to facilitate their hopes of being on the ballot paper for the election next month.

Nominations close on 28 September.

More: Dana: I’m running for President

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

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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