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.
“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.