New York-based publisher Niall O'Dowd has announced that he is no longer considering running as a candidate in the Presidential election.

In a statement last night, Mr O'Dowd said he believed the logistics involved for an independent in mounting a nationwide campaign against established political parties were extremely difficult.

He added: 'I have been given a fair hearing and am content that the issue of how the next president, with the help of the Diaspora and a Team Ireland approach, can help secure jobs and stop the involuntary emigration of Ireland's young people has been raised.

'I want to thank those who had promised support and to give an undertaking that I will continue to work on behalf of Irish and emigrant issues in my current capacity.'

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr O'Dowd also said he bowed out of the race because he stopped believing he could win.

Meanwhile, Mary Davis has won the backing of Louth County Council in her attempt to become President.

It is the first local authority to support the head of the Special Olympics Ireland.

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