With the ninth president of Ireland finally elected, Ireland is recovering from one of the most contentious races to date.  Here are some pointers for future candidates.

1. A cúpla focal is not enough

Despite the declining minority of people who use Irish as their first language, it’s pretty important that you have the ability to converse in our native tongue. Lead by example.

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2. Consider the endless possibilities of Photoshop

Election posters this time around have been subjected to hilarious edits with most candidates having their posters doctored in some way.

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Mary David campaign posters

3. Irish women be warned: stay at the kitchen sink

The two fair ladies in this year’s campaign ended up at the bottom of the tallys. Proving that, in Ireland anyways, politics remains a man’s world.

4. Letter writing is a lost art

When drafting your letters of intention to run for president, consider all the previous correspondence you have drafted and double check none of it was of a clemency nature.

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5. It’s a long road to the Aras

If you enter the race,  do it with the intention of making it to the finish line. While people have to commend Norris for being crowned the comeback kid, it’s better to stay in the race than to sit a few laps out.

6. Don’t wave bait in front of the media and expect them not to dig

If you have secrets (as most people do) put a serious amount of planning into crisis management, because the good and the bad will be exposed.

7. Expose all political affiliations

Be honest - fundraising efforts, envelopes, whatever the case may be.

8. Don’t remortgage the house

Consider the costs involved with running a presidential campaign, easily hundreds of thousands of euros. If you are an independent candidate you especially need to consider this before you announce your intention to run.

9. Mudslingers need not apply

Perhaps something all candidates can learn from the ninth president of Ireland, he remained a true gentleman throughout the campaign process.

10. Crimes of war

Be ready for the questions you don’t want to hear and people you don’t want to face.

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11. Make sure there is plenty wind left in your pipes

Our new president elect is 70 years-of-age,  that is double the minimum age requirement for the position. With some commentators doubting his ability to make it to the end of his term, others say it is just a number. Whatever the case, you cannot deny any person in political office needs a good spring in their step. Let’s hope Higgins can keep up.