Following a Fianna Fail meeting on Tuesday it was announced the party will not allow its members to nominate a candidate. Senator David Norris and Dana Rosemary Scallon had both looked to Fianna Fail for nominations during the last week.
Last month the party had decided that it would not run a candidate.
Just one week ago deputy leader Eamon O’Cuiv threatened to quit if he was not given the option to nominate and independent candidate. However party Micheal Martin and O’Cuiv both put the motion forward on Tuesday in agreement.
This week it also emerged that Fianna Fail Senator Labhras O’Murchu planned to run as an independent candidate. This also caused friction within the ranks of the party. The announcement that they will not be allowed to nominate any candidates mean’s O’Murchu cannot run.
Speaking to the Irish Times following the meeting party whip Sean O Fearghail said the motion had been adopted by “popular consensus”.
He said "[a majority of the party] endorses the decision of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party on 31st August 2011 not to contest the 2011 presidential election and further decides not to nominate or endorse a candidate for the 2011 presidential election.”
Earlier on Tuesday Socialist Party TDs Clare Daly and Joe Higgins signed Norris presidential nomination papers.
Independent TD Catherine Murphy also said she would sign Norris’ papers again. Murphy has pulled her nomination out.
She said that Martin McGuinness entering the race was a game changer and said she stands firm behind Norris’ nomination.
However it seems that Norris and Scallon have little chance of reaching the needed total of 20 nominations now that they lack the backing of Fianna Fail.