The Irish people want another Gay as President – the veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne.

A new opinion poll in the Sunday Independent has television legend Byrne as the clear favorite to replace Mary McAleese in the Aras.

Byrne has swept to the top of the polls in the wake of the withdrawal of gay senator David Norris from the presidential race.

The 77-year-old Byrne, forced back to work this year after the collapse of his economic wealth in the downturn, has warmed to the idea of running as an Independent candidate.

The Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll has Byrne at 34 percent support, way ahead of all the declared runners.

The Labor Party’s Michael D Higgins polled 24 percent support, while Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael polled 15 percent.

The former Late Late Show host has finally admitted that he is interested in the Presidential gig.

Byrne said: “If I was offered a nomination I would have to give it serious consideration.

“I would have to consider it seriously. But I would have to consult with she who must be obeyed as well because any mention of presidency would mean a huge disruption of our lives.

“Calls for me to enter the race are kind of encouraging and it is kind of stupefying.

“If the mass of Irish people demanded that I be the next President then I would have to seriously consider it. It would be extremely demeaning and rude to the office of President not to.

“If somebody can convince me that the mass of the Irish people are clamoring for Gay to be President, I would have to listen to the clamor.”

Fianna Fail deputies have said they will welcome Gay Byrne as a candidate despite stories that former deputy Mary Hanafin wants to contest the election on an FF badge.

A Fianna Fail spokesman said: “Gay Byrne would make an excellent candidate.

“We have yet to decide if we will nominate our own candidate for the presidency or back an Independent candidate.”


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