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Saturday 21 April 2018

'I won't run for the Park', says Miriam

Miriam O'Callaghan ended speculation
Miriam O'Callaghan ended speculation

Broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan has ended speculation over her political ambitions by announcing that she will not run in the presidential election.

The RTE star was asked a number of times at a charity event on Thursday if she would stand for presidency but refused to confirm, replying instead that current president Michael D Higgins is "wonderful".

Last month, she had fuelled speculation that she was considering running for Aras an Uachtarain when she announced that she is to take a break from her summer chat show.

However, the presenter confirmed in a series of tweets last night that she was not going to run in the presidential election.

"As a journalist, I'm much more comfortable reporting on stories than being at the centre of them," she wrote.

"Over recent years, I've been touched and a little embarrassed when people have approached me at charity events around the country and suggested that I should run for president.

"Out of respect to them, and to our serving president, I have always declined to engage in those discussions. However, given the recent resurgence of speculation, I want to state that I will not be a candidate in an upcoming presidential election," she said.

The mum-of-eight, who fronts Prime Time on RTE, added that she wanted to clarify that: "I have always been, and will always remain, independent of any political party."

Miriam said that she will not be doing her usual summer chat show because of other commitments.

Documentary

"I'm looking forward to spending the summer working on a landmark documentary about the 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches in the North and the Troubles," she said.

President Michael D Higgins's term is due to conclude before the end of this year. He previously said he would be a one-term president but has recently hinted he would like a second term, saying he had laid "solid foundations" since replacing Mary McAleese in 2011.

Miriam's confirmation that she won't run came after presidential hopeful Gerard Craughwell said the broadcaster may have been "flying a kite" on a potential Aras bid by dropping her summer chat show.

Mr Craughwell said he would be delighted to see her name put forward as a presidential rival.

"I hope she does run. I think it is time that those who are interested came out of the woodwork and declared their intention," he said this week.

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