Dana & Norris Áras bids receive Council boost

Wednesday 19 October 2011 15.14
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Dana requires the backing of four local authorities
Dana requires the backing of four local authorities
Mattie McGrath said he would not like to stand in the way of democracy
Mattie McGrath said he would not like to stand in the way of democracy

Both Dana Rosemary Scallon's and Senator David Norris' chances of getting on the Presidential ballot paper received a boost today as more councils agreed to consider their respective nominations.

The Mayor of Co Cork, Fine Gael Councillor Tim Lombard, has called a special meeting of the council there, where it will consider a motion to nominate Senator Norris for the Presidency.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday at 11am with motion as the only item on the agenda for the meeting.

Dublin City Council will also meet on Tuesday to consider Senator Norris' nomination, while councils in Laois and South Dublin will do the same on Monday.

Earlier Cavan County Council and Westmeath County Council announced they would meet on Tuesday to consider nominating Dana Rosemary Scallon.

It is considered likely that those two councils, along with Longford and Donegal, will back Ms Scallon, giving her the four nominations she requires.

Her nomination is also on the agenda, along with Senator Norris, in Carlow and Roscommon on Monday, Waterford City on Tuesday and in Kilkenny on Wednesday morning.

Separately TDs Shane Ross and Mattie McGrath have yet to declare whether they will support David Norris' nomination.

Senator Norris has secured the backing of 17 of the required 20 Oireachtas members to become an official candidate for the Presidency.

Deputy Ross said he would be making his views known after consulting supporters in Dublin South.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, Deputy McGrath said he had not made a final decision but would not like to stand in the way of democracy.

Poll suggests Norris is favourite for Áras

Meanwhile a new opinion poll suggests that Senator Norris could be in the lead in the race for the Presidency, and puts Martin McGuinness in third place.

The poll was carried out over the last few days by Millward Brown Lansdowne, with a smaller than usual sample size of 500, and was conducted online.

The company says the sample was weighted to accurately reflect the demographic break-down of the population at large, and that the margin of error is plus or minus 4%, as against 3% in most polls with a sample of 1,000.

It found support for David Norris at 27%, followed by Michael D Higgins on 18%.

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness is on 15%, just ahead of Mary Davis, also on 15%.

Sean Gallagher is on 11%, Gay Mitchell of Fine Gael on 10%, and Dana Rosemary Scallon is last on 4%.