Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has announced he will not be endorsing any candidate who seeks the Fine Gael nomination ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
Speaking on Monday Kenny said he wanted “a candidate who will win”.
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From Cork, he told the Irish Times: “Clearly the opportunity for Fine Gael here is stronger than it used to be – put it that way. And obviously the party and the units of the party will decide by vote who our chosen candidate will be. What I want is a candidate who will win.”
Meanwhile sources close to Kenny confirmed to the Irish Times that he would remain neutral during the nomination process and not back any of the three expected Fine Gael candidates: MEPs Mairead McGuinness and Gay Mitchell or former president pf the EU Pat Cox.
It appears increasingly unlikely that Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin intend to field a candidate for the October elections. The two opposition parties have deferred making a decision until next month.
Other potential candidates include:
Mary Davis, the chief executive of the Special Olympics in Ireland
Niall O’Dowd, the New York based publisher and journalist.
David Norris, Independent TCD candidate.
Michael D Higgins, the Galway West TD
Fergus Finlay, Barnardos chief executive
Sean Gallagher, businessman.