FIANNA Fail councillors in county Limerick look set to nominate Mary Davis to contest the presidential election.
Ms Davis, known for her work with Special Olympics and Active Citizenship, addressed Limerick County Council this week where she received a standing ovation.
Now, Fianna Fail has requested a special meeting of the council next Monday where Ms Davis’s candidacy is likely to be endorsed – although the party is in a minority in the council chamber.
Fine Gael leader Cllr John Sheahan has clearly spelled out that when the writ is moved for the election in September, Fine Gael in the council “will not stand “ in her way. Fine Gael councillors are widely expected to abstain in next Monday’s vote.
Afterwards, Ms Davis said she was now “very very optimistic” about getting the four council nominations she needs before she can stand for presidency. Louth, Monaghan and Mayo have already given her the nod; North Tipperary is to make up its mind next Monday and Limerick now also seems to be in the bag.
While official nominations won’t come into play until September, Ms Davis told reporters she would now be able to go ahead and begin building her campaign team.
But, in a speech perfectly pitched to soothe party political nerves, Ms Davis told the assembled councillors she knew her request would not be an easy decision for them. However, she said: “You have the power that can ensure an independent voice is put before the people and I would be very honoured to be that independent voice.”
Ms Davis, a native of Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, said she had never been a member of a political party but came from a background in the voluntary and community sector. She also pointed out that she was appointed as a member of the Council of State in 2004 and was very familiar with the role and functions of the president. “I think the office can represent something tangible, something very practical, particularly in these very challenging times.”