David Norris and Dana face an uphill battle to contest the Presidential election after a decision by Fianna Fail not to endorse any candidate.
Dana’s chance of securing a nomination are now almost non-existent according to pundits while Norris will struggle to secure the backing of 20 members of the Irish parliament.
Norris currently claims to have the backing of 11 members of the upper and lower houses of the parliament but has been unable to get public commitments from the remaining 16 Independents.
Dana only has one member of the Parliament – Tipperary Independent Noel McGrath – confirmed and will struggle for more after the Fianna Fail decision.
FF Senator Labhras O Murchu has also announced his decision to withdraw from the election after his parliamentary party voted not to support any candidate of any description.
After a week of internal bickering, the parliamentary party voted in favor of a motion from party leader Micheal Martin which was backed by his deputy Eamon O Cuiv – days after he had threatened to form a breakaway in the wake of the Presidential election row.
Party whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl said: “The motion was adopted by popular consensus. Under the terms of the motion, the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party endorsed the decision of August 31st not to contest the election or to nominate or endorse a candidate.
“The decision is a firm and final conclusion and it is one with which I believe the public will agree.”
FF Senator O Murchu withdrew his bid to contest the Presidential election after a meeting with party leader Martin before the FF vote was taken.
“Following meetings with the party leader and speculation in the media about his leadership, I do not wish to prolong uncertainty within Fianna Fáil,” said O Murchu.