And then there were seven – nominations closed for the election to choose the next President of Ireland at lunchtime on Wednesday with the largest field on record officially in the running.
After all the drama and excitement the election will be contested by seven candidates, but Fianna Fail won’t be represented for the first time in the party’s history.
David Norris, Martin McGuinness, Michael D Higgins, Gay Mitchell, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Sean Gallagher, and Mary Davis will all appear on the ballot paper on October 27th.
Norris was the last man in after finally securing the support of a fourth council with a nomination from Dublin City Council on Tuesday night.
The Trinity College academic secured 30 votes from the City Council with six against and 11 abstaining.
Earlier the former Eurovision song contest winner Dana was nominated by Offaly County Council as she booked her place on the ballot.
Gallagher and Davis will also run as Independents having secured the support of County Councils.
The traditional parties will be represented by Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell, Labor’s Michael D Higgins and Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness.
Still dogged by his appeals for clemency when his former partner was found guilty of statutory rape of a child in Israel, Norris has thanked those who helped him secure his nomination.
“I am delighted and honored and indeed humbled - a word I don’t often use - by the wonderful exercise in democracy that we’ve had here,” said Norris after Dublin City Council voted to ensure he will run.
Fingal, Laois and Waterford City Council also backed Senator Norris.
“I’m in love with this country and thank God for it. Thank God for democracy, democracy was vindicated here,” added Norris.
“The quest for a nomination was a bit bruising at times. I have made many friends on my travels around the State. I hope I’ve made no enemies.”
Dana Rosemary Scallon won nominations from Donegal and Offaly on Tuesday to ensure her candidature but was rejected by Westmeath.
“I want to be the people’s president and to uphold the Constitution if elected,” said Dana.
“My thanks to the support of the county councils without which I could never have done it on time. If I am honored to be elected president, I would be a president for all the people. I’ve represented Ireland now for 41 years on an international stage.”
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