Martin Sheen has turned down pleas to run for president of Ireland. The actor told a Chicago audience that he would not run despite a groundswell of support.

Sheen supporters had launched a Facebook page that was picking up 1,000 supporters a day He stated he was “flattered" by the online effort to get him to run for Ireland’s highest office, but that he was definitely not running.

Sheen, 70, was eligible because his mother, Mary Anne Phelan, was born in Tipperary, and he is an Irish citizen.

Sheen is the latest high profile name to withdraw from consideration. Irish senator and gay activist David Norris withdrew when leading in the polls, as did Irish television host Gay Byrne.

Sheen had spent a semester at University College Galway studying literature in 2006.

He is a frequent visitor to Ireland and has often stated his love for his ancestral land.

Despite Sheen’s withdrawal, his Facebook campaign surpassed 5,000 followers on Saturday and showed no sign of slowing down.



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