Dana Rosemary Scallon has announced her intention to seek a nomination to enter the Irish presidential election race. The former MEP and Eurovision song contest winner plans to run as an Independent candidate.

Scallon has been canvassing for support among Independents as well as the Fianna Fail party. To secure a place in the race Scallon needs the backing of four county councils or 20 Oireachtas members.

The possible further candidate had to pull out of her planned role as a contestant on the celebrity reality TV show “Celebrity Bainisteoir” as it would have been impossible to air the show if she had won the election. The show is based on celebrities taking on a role as the manager of their local GAA team.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin on Monday, Scallon said she wanted a “more open and fair nomination process.”

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"In a diverse society like ours we need real liberalism, not intolerance that discriminates. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and to be free to express their opinions and values.”

She continued “There is room in Ireland for people who have values and take decisions based on a moral judgment. People must not feel unrepresented - that is not a democracy.

"As nominations close on September 28th, I am calling on those members of the Oireachtas to grant me a nomination, so that the people of Ireland can decide. In the interest of equality I ask that members of the Oireachtas make room for a second woman."

In 1997 Scallon also ran for the presidency. She secured her place by winning a nomination from four county councils. She finished third behind Mary McAleese of Fianna Fáil and Mary Banotti of Fine Gael.

She was elected as an MEP for the west of Ireland in 1999. However she failed to retain her seat in 2004. In 2002 she ran in the general election in Ireland for the Galway West constituency. She was not elected.