Galway County Council has formally backed the nomination of Independent candidate, Mary Davis, in her bid to contest the forthcoming presidential election.

It is the first official council vote in the country.

The Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe was one of six candidates who gave a presentation to the council this afternoon.

The vote in favour of her nomination was 14. Nobody voted against and six members of the council abstained. There were 20 councillors present in the chamber.

A further six councils have also pledged to support Ms Davis.

Meanwhile, Independent candidate and entrepreneur Sean Gallagher has received indications of support from five councils, including Leitrim County Council, which he will address next Monday.

The candidates need the backing of four local authorities to get on the ballot paper.

The other four candidates are Dr Pat Jones, a botanist from Carlow, Richard McSweeney, a philosopher from Cork, Dermot Mulqueen, a UCD graduate from Clare and Gary Smylie, from Sligo, who is unemployed.

The election for the Irish presidency takes place on Thursday 27 October, with two nominated candidates already in the race, Michael D Higgins(Labour) and Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael).