Farmer John Groarke from Co Roscommon has said he would like to be president of Ireland and challenge incumbent Michael D Higgins for the spot.
Groarke said that he can no longer stand ‘well-healed’ people always holding the office and is considering a run for the presidency because of this.
“I feel the people that are running for these high offices are all very well paid most of them and the rural people of Ireland don’t get a look in at these jobs,” he said.
“People have a lot of money, and that’s the way they portray it.”
He told Shannonside Radio that, “you never see ordinary Joe Soaps getting into high office.”
Groarke believes in an Ireland where everyone, even the smaller, regular folks like himself, is entitled to run for the highest office in the land.
“Some of these people are colossally well paid. Some of them are doctors and lawyers; they have their jobs to fall back on if they don’t get in.
“The small person or poorer person is fit to be President of Ireland just as well as these other people,” he went on to say.
His campaign platform, as he put it, would have a focus on the homeless and others who are poorly treated in the Health Service. But regarding the high salary the president receives, he insisted that his statement as being the first rural person in the office would be far more significant.
President Michael D Higgins arriving at the ceremony marking the National Day of Commemoration, at Collins Barracks in Dublin earlier today.
More info: https://t.co/212qb2563i
(Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick, Collins) pic.twitter.com/borMo5yyLa— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) July 8, 2018
He expressed dissatisfaction with the nomination process for the office, which currently requires support from many County Councils to even get on the ballot.
“That is something that shouldn’t be. As an Irish citizen, born in Ireland if I want to run for the presidency I should be entitled to that.”
As of now, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and the Labour Party have all put their support behind Higgins as the incumbent, while Sinn Fein is undergoing discussions as to whether or not they put up a candidate.