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Norris fails to secure South Dublin County Council support for Áras run

The independent senator still needs the support of two local authorities in order to get on the ballot paper. Dana Rosemary Scallon also needs to support of two more councils.

Image: Photocall Ireland

Updated at 17:30

INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL David Norris was dealt a blow this evening as he failed to secure the support of South Dublin County Council.

Norris had earlier secured the backing of Laois County Council, added to his nomination by Fingal County Council last week and was expected to gain the support of South Dublin County Council this evening but failed to do so.

The motion to nominate Norris, which was the only item on the agenda, failed by one vote – 12-11 against – with three abstentions.

It leaves Norris with two county council nominations so far. A candidate needs four in order to be on the ballot for the 27 October election.

Meanwhile, fellow independent candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon has secured the formal support of two local authorities today, meaning she needs two more.

Carlow County Council was the first to give her its backing this morning with Roscommon County Council also voting to back Dana this afternoon.

RTÉ Radio One reports that Carlow initially voted on a proposal to support Norris, but was tied on the motion. The deciding vote cast by the council chairperson was against backing Norris. The council then voted on the proposal to support Dana and approved the motion.

Roscommon followed suit this afternoon as had been expected.

This morning, Laois gave its backing to Norris whose mother was from that county. He had been widely expected to secure the backing of South Dublin County Council but failed to do so this evening.

Norris had also sought to get on the ballot through the backing of 20 Oireachtas members, but that effort came to an end last night after Independent TD Mattie McGrath announced he would not sign Norris’ nomination papers.

McGrath held a meeting last night with his Tipperary constituents and staff and said the majority voted against his backing Norris.

There are not enough Oireachtas members left who have not already assigned their support or ruled themselves out of the nomination process for Norris to get a nomination through that route.

More council meetings

In total, around a dozen councils are meeting early this week to decide on their potential nominations. Tomorrow, seven local authorities are set to meet.

Donegal County Council will meet at 10am to debate a Fianna Fail-proposed motion to nominate Scallon. Cork County Council will meet at 11am to consider a motion to nominate Norris.

At lunchtime, Waterford City Council is to meet to debate motions to nominate either Norris or Scallon.

Longford County Council is to meet at 4pm to debate a motion to nominate Scallon. Westmeath County Council will also meet on Tuesday to debate a motion to nominate Scallon.

On Tuesday evening, Dublin City Council will meet just before 7pm to discuss a motion to nominate Norris while at 7pm Cavan County Council will debate a Fianna Fáil-proposed motion to nominate Scallon.

Finally, on Wednesday morning, Kilkenny County Council is to meet at 8.30am to debate motions to nominate either Norris or Scallon.

The deadline for nominations to be delivered to the returning officer is 12 noon that day.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell

Read: Focus turns to councils as McGrath deals blow to Norris hopes >

Read: Norris stays out in front in latest Red C poll >

Read TheJournal.ie’s coverage of the Race for the Áras in full >

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