Chief executive of the Special Olympics World Games Mary Davis has emerged as a serious contender to become the next President of Ireland.
The Mayo woman, who was credited with the huge success of Ireland’s staging of the games in 2003, is being quoted with odds of 16/1 with Paddy Power to succeed Mary McAleese in the Áras, opening the door for the county to boast having two lady presidents in its midst.
Ms Davis would need to be nominated by 20 members of the Oireachtas or four city or county councils before she could run for presidency.
On top of that, Ms Davis would meet stiff competition from the likes of Senator David Norris, who Paddy Power make its 5/2 favourite to become the first gay president of Ireland, and MEP Brian Crowley at 11/4.
“David Norris is by far the candidate attracting the most money but there has been some special interest in Mary Davis since she confirmed she’d consider running for presidency,” said Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power. “If she does run and her campaign is as flawless as the 2003 games then she’s got a very good chance.”
Other candidates rated as potentially the next president of Ireland are at 3/1 Michael D Higgins; 7/1 John Bruton; 10/1 Sean Kelly (ex GAA president ); 10/1 Fergus Finlay; 14/1 Bertie Ahern; 6/1 Mairead McGuinness; 16/1 Mary O’Rourke; and 16/1 Mary Davis. Mayo man Louis Walsh is at bottom of the list with his chances rated at 250/1.