O'Doherty gets presidential endorsement from Laois council

Journalist Gemma O'Doherty has been formally endorsed by Laois County Council to contest the Presidential Election.

It is Ms Doherty’s first endorsement and she requires a further three endorsements from local authorities to secure a nomination to run for the presidency next month.

She was proposed by IndependentBen Brennan and seconded by Sinn Féin's Aidan Mullins.

Ms O’Doherty received four votes, including one vote from a Fianna Fáil councillor. There were no other proposals and 13 councillors abstained.

However, Ms O’Doherty has missed out on an endorsement from Cork County Council.

She was proposed by Independent Diarmaid Ó Cadhla and seconded by his fellow Independent Kieran McCarthy.

Her name was the only one to be put before councillors at the council’s fortnightly meeting this morning.

Five councillors voted in favour, with 28 against and six abstentions. There were 39 of the 55 councillors present for the vote.

Ms O'Doherty said she was in discussions with the group of Oireachtas Independent TDs and Senators and was hopeful she can receive their support for a nomination.

Speaking in Portlaoise this morning, she said she was also hopeful that more Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors would support her nomination in the last remaining counties where the votes have yet to take place.

Two motions before a special Sligo County Council meeting this morning to endorse candidates to run for the presidency were withdrawn.

A motion to back Seán Gallagher had been proposed by Fianna Fáil councillor Keith Henry, while independent councillor Michael Clarkehad put down a motion to support Peter Casey.

Neither of the proposers was in the council chamber for this morning's meeting.

Cathaoirleach Martin Baker said they had withdrawn their motions, but no reasons for this were given to the small number of councillors present.

Following the withdrawal of the motions, Sinn Féin councillor Chris McManus said that the whole process of seeking nominations for the presidency had become farcical.

Galway County Council, meanwhile, has unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Senator Joan Freeman.

A motion formally endorsing her candidacy came before councillors at this morning's meeting of the local authority.

The backing rubber-stamps the support expressed for Senator Freemanat a special Council meeting a fortnight ago.

Today's resolution gives formal effect to that decision.

Kildare County Councilisalso set to meet today to discuss presidential endorsements.

Presidential Election hopefuls must secure the support of four local authorities or 20 TDs and senators to stand in the election.

A sitting president can nominate themselves to seek a second term and President Michael D Higgins has already indicated that he intends to run.

Mr Gallagher,Ms Freeman, Mr Casey, Gavin Duffy and Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riadahave all been nominated to run in the election.

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