INVESTIGATIVE journalist Gemma O’Doherty’s chances of taking part in the Presidential race have been dented after she failed to secure a nomination from Cork County Council.
The local authority will not put forward a candidate for the forthcoming Presidential election.
Ms O’Doherty did not appear before councillors to make her case for nomination - despite being proposed by independent councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla – instead opting to submit a written declaration.
Mr Ó Cadhla, who had previously proposed Senator Joan Freeman - urged the council to use its ability to nominate a candidate and told fellow members that it was not a case of agreeing with Ms O’Doherty’s view but allowing the general public an opportunity to have a choice to vote for her.
“Irish citizens have an entitlement to hear what she has to say,” he said.
He also asked fellow members who were not going to support Ms O’Doherty to abstain as voting against her would be a show of disrespect.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy responded that he felt people needed a “broader choice” but Timmy Collins (IND) said he preferred that the Council would retain its stance in not putting anyone forward.
The motion to nominate Ms O’Doherty was defeated with 28 councillors voting against her, five for and six abstaining.
Nominations will close next Wednesday and businessmen Sean Gallagher, Gavin Duffy, and Peter Casey, Senator Joan Freeman, and Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada are officially on the ballot – along with current President Michael D. Higgins.
Of the 31 local authorities in the country, 19 have nominated candidates and eight have decided not to.
Ms O’Doherty must now gain the support of three councils from Sligo, Kildare, Donegal, and Louth after securing a nomination from Laois Council on Monday.
However, Donegal and Louth councils are not expected to hold a meeting before nominations close.
Ms O’Doherty is now believed to be in discussions with independent TDs and senators to secure a nomination through the Oireachtas.