Republic of Ireland news

Gavin Duffy receives first nomination for presidential election

Dragons' Den Gavin Duffy is seeking the backing of four local councils before he can enter his name on the ballot paper
Aoife Moore, Press Association

Businessman Gavin Duffy has received the first nomination from a local authority to contest the presidential election.

The Dragon's Den investor secured the backing of Meath County Council after councillors held a vote today.

Mr Duffy received 17 votes, defeating fellow businessman and Dragon's Den star Sean Gallagher, who gained seven votes, and Independent Senator Joan Freeman who received two.

Mr Duffy secured votes from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Independent politicians, which he says confirms his cross-party appeal.

Sinn Féin councillor Caroline Lynch confirmed that Sinn Fein abstained from the vote as did four others.

In order to run for president, candidates require the support of at least four county councils or 20 elected representatives.

President Michael D Higgins will stand again. Picture by Jane Barlow, Press Association

Local authorities in Kerry, Cork, Leitrim, Wexford and Wicklow will also all be addressed by prospective candidates.

Reacting to his nomination, Mr Duffy tweeted: "Thank you to the Councillors of Meath for giving me the first nomination in the 2018 Presidential Election."

The presidential election will be held on October 26 and nominations have to be submitted by September 26.

Current president Michael D Higgins will nominate himself as an Independent candidate for another seven years in office.

He has also secured the backing of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, who have both agreed not to field candidates from their own parties.

Sinn Féin is due to field a candidate later in the month.

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