Dana becomes second Galway based presidential candidate

This week saw a second Galway based candidate enter the presidential election when Dana Rosemary Scallon received the final nominations she needed to secure a run for the Árus.

Mrs Scallon was the latest of all the candidates to enter the race but secured the support of Donegal County Council, Waterford City Council, Longford County Council, and Offaly County Council.

Cavan County Council was due to vote in her favour but on Tuesday but Mrs Scallon asked councillors not to proceed with the nomination as by this stage she had the four councils needed to ratify her entry into the race.

Galway now has two residents in the race, the other being Labour candidate and former Galway West TD Michael D Higgins. However they represent opposite ends of the Irish political spectrum.

The recent Sunday Business Post poll showed Mrs Scallon on just six per cent, albeit this was taken before she entered the race. However many political analysts do not see her getting much above that come polling day.

Some have also raised questions as to how Mrs Scallon, with only very modest public support, could have received the backing of local authorities with relative ease, while Sen David Norris (at 21 per cent in the Sunday Business Post poll ) had a long and arduous struggle to even have the right to address some council chambers.

However the above is not the fault of Mrs Scallon and is reflective more of the attitudes of councillors, party politics, and problems with the system of nominating a presidential candidate.

The singer and former MEP is also the second individual from Derry to run for the position of president, with both she and Sinn Féin candidate Martin McGuinness having grown up in the same area of the city.

Mrs Scallon has been resident in County Galway since the late 1990s and currently lives in Claregalway. Although best known for winning the Eurovision in 1970, she is no stranger to politics having caused a major upset in 1999 by winning a seat for Connacht-Ulster in 1997 European Elections. She also ran in the presidential election of 1997 and the general election of 2002 as an Independent candidate for Galway West.

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