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One in, all in: Seven up for 2011 Presidential contest

The nominations of Dana Rosemary Scallon and David Norris mean that the ballot paper next month will be the most crowded ever.

Image: Photocall Ireland

SEVEN CANDIDATES will contest this year’s Presidential election – the highest number ever – after two more independent candidates yesterday secured their place on the ballot paper for next month’s election.

Yesterday two more independent candidates – former MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon, and veteran Trinity College senator David Norris – both secured their place on the ballot papers thanks to the nomination of Ireland’s local authorities.

Scallon – who is trying to run for the office for a third time, having appeared on the ballot paper in 1997 and failed in a similar attempt to contest the 2004 election – won the backing of councils in Donegal and Offaly, giving her the four nominations she needs to contest the election.

Norris, who had won the support of Fingal earlier this summer but whose campaign had since faltered, completed a political renaissance when he won the support of the city councils in Waterford and Dublin, adding to the previous nomination of Laois.

Both of the independents who secured a space on the ballot yesterday benefited from the tactics of others: two of the councils nominating Dana – Donegal and Roscommon – had previously pledged their support for entrepreneur Sean Gallagher, who then asked them to withdraw their support as he had been nominated elsewhere.

Norris’s nomination at Dublin City Council was facilitated by his Labour Party rival Michael D Higgins, who appealed to his party’s councillors not to block Norris’s nomination.


Two more councils will hold scheduled meetings this morning where the nominations of the two candidates will be discussed, on foot of motions tabled before each had secured their spot on the ballot.

Kildare County Council meets at 8:30am to discuss a motion nominating Dana, while Kilkenny County Council meets at the same time to discuss motions nominating both candidates.

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A motion nominating Dana was put to Cavan County Council last night, but was withdrawn on Scallon’s request. The former MEP and Eurovision winner, who attended that meeting, thanked the members for meeting nonetheless.

The field of seven will be the largest ever to contest a Presidential election in Ireland – beating the previous record set in 1997, when Dana was among the five candidates taking part.

That election had been the largest in history at the time, in part because Dana and Derek Nally were the first two candidates to secure a nomination through the local authority route.

Nominations for the election officially close at noon today, with Norris and Scallon joining Higgins, Gallagher, Gay Mitchell, Martin McGuinness and Mary Davis on the ballot paper.

Read: Norris an official presidential candidate after Dublin City nomination >

More: Dana is officially a presidential candidate following Offaly nomination >

Read: Presidential debates: When and where they are happening >

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

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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