Martin McGuinness - the choice for Ireland’s presidential election
Irish voters go to the ballot box in a little over a week to decide who the next president of Ireland will be
Irish voters go to the ballot box in a little over a week to decide who the next president of Ireland will be.
There are seven contenders, but bookmakers and opinion polls show it is close to a two-man race between businessman Sean Gallagher, who was also a reality TV star, and former Labor Party minister Michael D. Higgins.
But the race is so volatile that it is impossible to predict with great accuracy who will ultimately win.
Gallagher is a case in point. A few months ago bookmakers had him on offer at around odds of 30-1. But he has run a clean campaign, devoid of smears or innuendo, focusing on job creation and helping Ireland get out of the economic mess it is in.
Higgins has battled questions about his age – he is 70 -- and his physical fitness for the office, but has a lifelong resume of principled political commitment to issues many others ran away from.
Most notably, Higgins was responsible for removing the odious Section 31 that banned Sinn Fein from the airwaves. This was a huge move towards normalization.
But this Irish presidential campaign will be remembered for its negative and pejorative tone. It has been a nasty campaign full of smear and despicable press coverage.
That coverage reached its zenith or nadir on Sunday when the Irish Daily Mail reported that a third hand allegation against a contender about a sexual battery case had been reported 25 years after it allegedly occurred. Irish police quite rightly refused to prosecute, but the story still made the front page.
We have also had a complete airing of the view of David Norris on pedophilia, and a dramatic family dispute over the same issue involving the singer Dana, who must be regretting her late decision to enter the race.
Then there has been the ultimate smear campaign against Sinn Fein candidate Martin McGuinness, who has received a full frontal attack in the Irish Independent and to some extent The Irish Times, both of which seem to consider his decision to contest the race as no less than an invasion of their privately held Republic.
McGuinness would be a superb president of Ireland, as he has been a superb deputy first minister in the Northern Ireland government and a brilliant peace negotiator.
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Well there is indeed hope for the Peace process because unbelievably I agree with Unionist. No good can come from a country built on censorship and reIrish radio presenter suspended after anti-Israeli comments aired on show
Veritas, you're a crock. Your Hasbara hero, Gilad Atzmon and company, is pre-literate and can barely put together three coherent words in English. YNotre Dame sues federal government again over birth control
Gearoid4, you are still denying well documented scientific fact. I have responded on this point several times in the past and given you references, ySmithwick inquiry finds Irish police may have colluded in two IRA murders
For Woundedknee. Seamus Ludlow was a civilian that's was murdered by 4 loyalist gunman one night while thumbing a lift home from a night out in Dundal