Roscommon County Council members said at their July meeting that they would consider candidates who wish to run in the future President of Ireland election, and would hold a special meeting in the coming weeks, if required.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Ivan Connaughton proposed that the council would facilitate the process of any interested party in the election. He was supported by the three South Roscommon Independent members, writes David Flynn.
“They could contact us, and come here and meet us to show their interest,” said Fianna Fail’s Cllr. Connaughton. “We have no meeting in August, but we may have to call a special meeting in September or earlier if required, in the interest of democracy.”
Independent Cllr. Tony Ward agreed, and said that President Higgins is doing a good job, but that is not the issue, and that there is a right to vote and a right to run. He recalled that seven years ago former councillors Tom Crosby and Jimmy Kenny proposed a candidate for the 2011 Presidential election. They chose Dana Rosemary Scallon at the time.
“It’s never a good thing to close down democracy, and there would be uproar if the 18 councillors here didn’t have to go before the people in 2019,” said Cllr. Ward.
Cllr. Paddy Kilduff said it’s good that democracy will prevail, and he was disappointed with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail supporting the present President, who was a Labour candidate.
“I hope that we give consideration to Sean Gallagher, and only for RTE he would be the President, and although he hasn’t declared yet, I would like to see him declare,” said the Independent.
Fine Gael member, Cllr. Liam Callaghan, said that he would not be blocking any person who “had the guts to put their name forward,”.
“This is a power we should implement and should facilitate,” said Independent, Cllr. Laurence Fallon.