Who do you want to be the President of Ireland? On October 26th you will get to decide who represents Ireland on an international level. Who are the candidates that have made it onto the ballot paper? Here’s a student guide on who is running to win Aras 18 and be inaugurated on November 11th.
Higgins is back and running once again for President. Although he previously stated he would only serve for one term back in 2011, Michael D is back again and is preparing to win your votes. In 2011 Higgins was the representative of the Labour party however this time around he is running as an independent. If you worried about Higgins health who is currently 77, he put your worries at ease. When asked about his health during his campaign launch he said, “My health is excellent . . . I am very fit and I am really looking forward
to getting into the campaign”.
Ni Riada has been a member of the European Parliament since 2014 and is running as representative of the Sinn Fein party. She is a native Irish speaker and if you recognize the second name she is the daughter Sean O Riada, the famous Irish composer. At her campaign Liadh Ni Riada said she will focus on “Increasingly the prospect, shape and nature of a United Ireland will be a feature of public discussion and political decision making. As president, I will initiate an inclusive citizens’ conversation on a future united Ireland”.
Joan Freeman is running as an independent candidate having won the support of Galway County, Galway City, Cork City and Fingal council. She is from Clontarf in Dublin and is the founder of Pieta House, a suicide intervention charity which flagship fundraiser is Darkness into Light. Freeman is a psychologist and has served as an independent senator in Seanad Eireann since 2016. At her campaign launch Freeman said, “I will turn the national lens back on the social issues of Ireland, and I will become the conscience and the heartbeat of the government”.
Gallagher is also running as an independent candidate having secured endorsements from Roscommon, Mayo, Leitrim, Wexford, Cavan county councils. Gallagher is best known from the show RTE’s ‘Dragons Den’. Gallagher is originally from Monaghan but currently lives in Wicklow. He is a businessman who achieved initial success from the company ‘Smart Phones Ltd’. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the president back in 2011 but came in second to the current president.
Another Dragon is seeking to be elected Peter Casey. Casey is an entrepreneur and television personality. He is the founder of Claddagh Resources, a global recruitment and executive search business. Casey is also running as an independent candidate after getting support from Tipperary, Kerry, Clare and Limerick City councils. Casey is originally from Derry but lives primarily in Donegal. Casey is hoping to use his extensive business knowledge to the job of the President.
Lastly, Gavin Duffy, one of the first contenders to announce his campaign Duffy was also a part of RTE’s ‘Dragons Den’. He is the former owner of HRM one of Ireland;s largest recruitment companies. Originally from Louth, Duffy secured the support of Carlow, Wicklow, Meath and Waterford county councils. He currently lives in Meath. He promises to be ‘open and transparent’ if he is successful in his campaign.
These six candidates will be attempting to win your vote. It’s important that you support your preferred candidate as they will be representing you for at least the next seven years. Your voice matters. Do your part and vote on October 26th.