Support for actor Martin Sheen to become the next Irish president has mushroomed on the Sheen for president Facebook page, reaching over 1,500 up from 300 on Monday.

A Sheen spokesman has told an Irish newspaper that they will issue a statement on the drive to have Sheen, an Irish citizen run in the election which will be held in late October.

Paddy Power bookmakers have slashed his odds as pressure builds up for the American actor who is an Irish citizen through his mother,Mary Ann Phelan, a native of Tipperary to run.

He is a frequent visitor to Ireland, has studied at University College Galway and has filmed several movies in Ireland.



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The drive for Sheen to declare has come after yet another front-runner Gay Byrne dropped out of the race and there were widespread calls for new candidates to come forward.

A twitter site dedicated to Sheen running soon became very popular and a facebook page followed.
The Irish media has also begun to take a Sheen candidacy as something that could happen.

Alison O’Connor writing in the Irish Independent stated “Who would have guessed that before the day had ended there would be a Hollywood angle to the whole thing, with hundreds of people having signed a newly established Facebook page to urge actor and Irish citizen Martin Sheen to be a candidate?......

"Lest we forget, the global human-rights activist has all that first-hand experience from playing US president Jed Bartlett in the phenomenally successful 'The West Wing'. It's bound to give him an added edge if he decides to head for the Phoenix Park."

Sheen would be running for a largely ceremonial job which has a seven year term. However, the last two incumbents Mary Robinson and Mary McAlese have made a major impact on the world stage.