Special Olympics organiser Mary Davis has announced that she is seeking a nomination to run in the Presidential election.

Ms Davis has written to every local authority member in the country seeking their support for a nomination.

Presidential candidates need the backing of 20 Oireachtas members or four local authorities to get on the ballot paper.

Launching her campaign this morning, Ms Davis said she wanted to be a practical President in the service of the Irish people.

She said she was not a politician in the conventional sense, but had demonstrated how to bring new possibilities into people's lives.

Ms Davis is best known for bringing the Special Olympics to Ireland in 2003, as the then Chief Executive of Special Olympics Ireland.

In 2004, she was appointed to the Council of State by President Mary McAleese.

The field of candidates is starting to fill out - Independent Senator David Norris is already lobbying councils for backing, while the Labour Party will pick a candidate next month.

Fine Gael is also expected to choose a candidate over the summer.

Fianna Fáil has yet to decide whether to nominate a candidate. However, party leader Micheál Martin has told his councillors that they are free to back Independents if they think they should be given an opportunity to run.

Businessman Sean Gallagher is also seeking a nomination.