Nominations close for Irish Presidential contest

File photos of the six candidates in the running for next month's presidential election in Ireland.   Michael D Higgins, Liadh Ni Riada,
File photos of the six candidates in the running for next month's presidential election in Ireland. Michael D Higgins, Liadh Ni Riada,

Nominations for Ireland's presidential election have officially closed.

There are six candidates in the running including the incumbent Michael D Higgins.

Sean Gallagher, Peter Casey

Sean Gallagher, Peter Casey

All six candidates have submitted nomination papers at Custom House in Dublin in the last few days.

Businessman and star of Ireland's Dragons' Den Gavin Duffy became an official candidate after securing the support of Waterford, Meath, Carlow and Wicklow councils.

Sean Gallagher was backed by Roscommon, Leitrim, Mayo and Wexford councils, while Senator Joan Freeman received four nominations from Cork City, Galway County, Fingal and Galway City.

Businessman Peter Casey was backed by Kerry, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary councils.

Sinn Fein selected MEP Liadh Ni Riada as its candidate last week.

Mr Higgins nominated himself to run for re-election. In keeping with precedent for the nomination of a sitting president, his nomination papers were submitted by his representative Art O'Leary, secretary general to the president, who was accompanied by the president's election agent Conor Power.

The president will formally launch his re-election campaign later on Wednesday.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail backed Mr Higgins for re-election, and did not field their own candidates in support of his campaign.

The election will take place on Friday October 26, with the winner inaugurated on November 11.