Defeated candidates congratulate Higgins

Saturday 29 October 2011 21.57
David Norris described Michael D Higgins as the country's only 'political millionaire'
David Norris described Michael D Higgins as the country's only 'political millionaire'

Five of the seven candidates who contested the Presidential election made short speeches after the final result was announced.

Fine Gael candidate Gay Mitchell and Indpendent Mary Davis were not present.

Seán Gallagher said the campaign had been very challenging at times. But he said Michael D Higgins had run his campaign with dignity and decorum. He said Mr Higgins will be an outstanding President.

Mr Gallagher said he was more energised now as a result of the campaign.

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness said it was a honour to stand and described it as the “experience of a lifetime”. He was very proud that 250,000 people voted for him.

He said Mr Higgins has “great intellectual capacity” and a “huge heart” and would make a very fine President. He urged the new President to continue the work of President and Martin McAleese in building bridges in the North.

David Norris said Mr Higgins would be a great President. He described him as a poet, visionary, academic and scholar who was passionately committed to justice and human rights.

Mr Norris said the President-elect was the only “political millionaire” in the country because he had got over a million votes.

Dana Rosemary Scallon said it had been a great honour to be part of the election campaign and was pleased to be standing at the end of it. She wished Mr Higgins well in his work over the next seven years for the good of the country.

All of the defeated candidates thanked their families and supporters for their efforts, and recorded their appreciation for the work of the Presidential Returning Officer, Ríona Ní Fhlanghaile.

A spokesperson for Mary Davis said that she congratulated Michael D Higgins yesterday and spent today with her family.