Saturday 23 March 2019

Aras hopeful Craughwell urges Miriam to reveal her hand

Gerard Craughwell
Gerard Craughwell

Presidential hopeful Gerard Craughwell has said broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan may have been "flying a kite" on a potential presidential bid by dropping her summer chat show.

He said it is in everybody's interest that the public knows who intends to run, sooner rather than later.

Independent senator Mr Craughwell called on Ms O'Callaghan and any other parties who might be weighing up a bid for Aras an Uachtarain to declare their intentions. He was the first candidate to put his name forward.


Mr Craughwell said it would be "undemocratic" to not have a presidential election this year when Michael D Higgins' term comes to an end.

Ms O'Callaghan fuelled speculation that she was considering a tilt at the presidency last month by announcing she is to take a break from her summer chat show.

Mr Craughwell said he would be delighted to see her name put forward.

"I hope she does run. I think it's time that those who are interested came out of the woodwork and declared their intention," he said. "She has come away from her summer TV show. I think that may well be like flying a kite to see what the reaction would be.

"Michael D Higgins has previously made the point that we were being too careful about discussing the presidency while an incumbent had yet to declare if they were seeking a second term.

"We should have contenders coming out of the woodwork. There are no coronations in Ireland, so I would welcome Ms O'Callaghan others like her to put themselves out there now."

Other names linked to the role include Independent senator Padraig O Ceidigh and Fine Gael MEPs Sean Kelly and Mairead McGuinness.

Ms O'Callaghan did not respond to a request for comment, but recently said she is taking a break as she has "too much to do and too little time".

Two Labour politicians, Jan O'Sullivan and senator Kevin Humphreys, said yesterday that they would like to see Mr Higgins run for a second term.

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