Irish President: Candidates Should Have A Strong Appreciation of the Language

A potential candidate for the Irish presidential elections has said that any president of Ireland should have a strong appreciation of the Irish language.

Speaking on Kerry Radio, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh said that any president of Ireland should have an appreciation of Irish and the part it has played in Irish history and culture. Mr Ó Muircheartaigh said that he was asked by politicians a few months ago if he would be interested in putting himself forward as a candidate for President, but has confirmed that if he stood he would run as an independent candidate.

Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn told the Irish media that there was a “growing desire” within the party to enter the contest with a candidate and even though Mr Ó Muircheartaigh spoke at a Sinn Féin-hosted conference, “Uniting Ireland – Towards a New Republic” in Cork in June 2011, the party has denied rumours that they had approached Mr Ó Muircheartaigh to stand. The Fianna Fáil party have equally denied rumours that they approached Mr Ó Muircheartaigh, but one source told the Irish Independent that their candidate would not be from within their party ranks. The Fine Gael candidate was chosen in July 2011 and is Gabriel “Gay” Mitchell, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and a former TD.

Mr Ó Muircheartaigh who is a retired Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) commentator for Irish radio and television said that he will decide next week whether or not to stand as a candidate for the presidential election. Mr Ó Muircheartaigh who turns 81 years on Saturday (20 August 2011) said that his age would not be a factor in his decision.

The date for the elections has been set for Thursday 27th October 2011, unless incumbent President Mary McAleese stands down prematurely.

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666

gensec@celticleague.net

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

18/08/11

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