Another veteran broadcaster is considering a run for the Presidency – sports legend Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh may fill the void left by his former colleague Gay Byrne.
Ó Muircheartaigh, the 80-year-old Kerry native renowned for his match commentaries on Irish radio, has already received Byrne’s support.
“Not only is Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh the most popular man in Irish broadcasting, he is also probably the most popular man in Ireland and I would favor him as a candidate,” declared Byrne after he withdrew from the Presidential campaign at the weekend.
A number of political parties have also approached Ó Muircheartaigh who has admitted he is, at the very least, interested in the idea of running in the election to succeed Mary McAleese.
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“I haven’t ruled out anything but even at the greyhound track on Saturday night I almost left with the number of people that were saying it to me,” said Ó Muircheartaigh.
“I will give it a bit of consideration but it’s a major undertaking.”
Like Byrne, Ó Muircheartaigh will consult with his family, during a holiday in Dingle this week, before making any decision.
“I won’t spend too much time, usually when I give something a thought I make a decision but I have never been involved in a thing like this and it was never my intention,” said Ó Muircheartaigh after he watched Tipperary defeat Dublin in Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final.
“The public view on whether I should run “could be a swaying factor,” he added.
“I’ve been among the people always, and I know a lot of people everywhere, and quite a few of them have been encouraging.”
Adding that he has already been approached by a number of political parties, Ó Muircheartaigh insisted he would only consider running as an independent candidate.
“I was never associated with politics and I stayed clear of politics. I’ve been broadcasting for over 62 years on the basis that all shades of political opinion are involved in all sports,” said Ó Muircheartaigh.