Ireland’s top female television presenter Miriam O'Callaghan may be a shock contender in the race for president of Ireland it has emerged.
Current president Mary McAleese will stand down next year and now O’Callaghan is weighing entering the race according to the Sunday Tribune newspaper
O'Callaghan, 49, has presented all of Ireland’s major current event programs as well as hosting her own Saturday night chat show. She also did a stint with the BBC as an anchor on their top current affairs program ‘Newsnight.’ She was born in Dublin and is a lawyer by training.
She told the Sunday Tribune that becoming president of Ireland "would be such an extraordinary and unimaginable honour that I wouldn't dare talk about it."
O’Callaghan has eight children from two marriages and is widely popular all over Ireland
One senior Fianna Fáil figure quoted by the newspaper stated that "O'Callaghan would be a very strong candidate", while a Fine Gael source said that she would present "an incredible modern image for Ireland".
Irish Times political analyst political analyst Noel Whelan said, "the concept of Miriam O'Callaghan running for president is attractive on a number of levels. Firstly, much of the evidence would suggest that the public mood is a non-political, if not anti-political one. She also has the advantage of being outside the political system, yet being extremely high-profile and really competent on political issues."
O'Callaghan told the Sunday Tribune: "I have not been approached by any political party in relation to the upcoming presidential election. You are just one of quite a number of people who have contacted me in the past few weeks on this issue – a number of local radio stations also called, based on apparently local phone polls. At the moment, I am just very busy focusing on my job, my charity work and my family."
She stated that was "apolitical, in that I am not in any way affiliated to any party and never have been. As a current affairs anchor that is an absolute essential prerequisite in my book."
Fianna Fail European Parliament member Brian Crowley has long been regarded as their most likely candidate while gay senator David Norris is also considering a bid as is former GAA president Sean Kelly of Fine Gael.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore