Dana Rosemary Scallan is the first candidate ever to secure a nomination for the Irish presidential election through the support of four county councils.
Donegal County Council makes history by becoming the first local authority to exercise its right to nominate a person to contest the Irish presidential election.
Former Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana (Rosemary Scallan) tells the 18 of the 29 members of Donegal Count Council assembled at the courthouse in Lifford that her nomination would not be in conflict with their party politics. Instead it would ensure the right of the ordinary person to stand for the highest office in the land.
The nomination is proposed by independent Fianna Fáil councillor Paddy Kelly, 12 councillors vote for, 3 against and 3 abstain.
Dana secures the first of four nominations she requires. Kerry and Wicklow County Councils quickly follow suit. Longford County Council becomes the crucial fourth local authority to give her its nomination.
According to Dana’s mother Sheila Brown the first nomination coming from Donegal County Council is especially significant as there is a family connection with the county.
Dana believes Donegal County Council’s nomination is proof democracy is alive and well in Ireland.
They’ve opened the process and they’ve given a voice to the people of Ireland.
Councillor Maureen Doohan believes it is a historic day as Donegal County Council has shown that can local authorities can have a say.
Councillor Sean McEniff thinks Dana holds many shared values with the people of Donegal and they should be allowed to vote for her if they wish.
We had Mary Robinson in 1990 who was non party, Dana here today is non party again and who am I to stop her.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 September 1997. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.
The presidential election was held on 30 October 1997. Mary McAleese, the candidate of the Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrats parties became the eighth President of Ireland.