Two of the six declared candidates in the upcoming presidential election submitted their nomination papers today.

The papers are submitted at the Customs House to complete the formal process of becoming a candidate in the election. 

President Michael D Higgins and Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada submitted their papers today.

Businessman Gavin Duffy lodged his papers last Friday. Fellow presidential candidate Sean Gallagher is expected to submit his papers tomorrow. 

Mr Higgins will launch his re-election bid in Dublin city centre on Wednesday.

It is now less than 48 hours until candidates have to declare if they want to contest the presidential election, which will be held on 26 October.

Presidential election hopefuls must secure the support of four local authorities or 20 TDs and senators to stand in the election.

A sitting president can nominate themselves to seek a second term and President Michael D Higgins has already indicated that he intends to run.

The declared candidates are: President Michael D Higgins, Peter Casey, Gavin Duffy, Senator Joan Freeman, Sean Gallagher and Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada.

Meanwhile, presidential hopeful Gemma O'Doherty appears to be facing an uphill battle in her bid to secure a nomination to contest the election.

The prospective independent candidate received an endorsement from Laois County Council this morning.

She was proposed by Independent Ben Brennan and seconded by Sinn Féin's Aidan Mullins.

She received four votes, including one vote from a Fianna Fáil councillor. There were no other proposals and 13 councillors abstained.

Cork and Kildare County Councils have voted against endorsing Ms O'Doherty's candidacy.

The journalist, who has campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, still needs the support of three other councils ahead of Wednesday's deadline.

However, it appears there are no further planned council meetings with the required motion in place to consider supporting Ms O'Doherty, before nominations close at noon on Wednesday.

There is still the outside possibility of 20 members of the Oireachtas agreeing to nominate her.

Speaking in Laois today, Ms O'Doherty said she was in discussions with the group of  Independent TDs and Senators and is hopeful she will get their support for a nomination.

However, a meeting of 12 TDs and Senators was already held in Leinster House last week to discuss nominating a candidate.

After what was described as a robust debate it was clear that agreement could not be reached to support any single prospective candidate.

Two motions before a special Sligo County Council meeting this morning to endorse candidates to run for the presidency were withdrawn.

A motion to back Mr Gallagher had been proposed by Fianna Fáil councillor Keith Henry, while independent councillor Michael Clarke had put down a motion to support Peter Casey.

Neither of the proposers were in the council chamber for this morning's meeting.

Galway County Council, meanwhile, has unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Senator Joan Freeman. 

A motion formally endorsing her candidacy came before councillors at this morning's meeting of the local authority. 

The backing rubber-stamps the support expressed for Senator Freeman at a special council meeting a fortnight ago. 

Today's resolution gives formal effect to that decision. 


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Additional reporting Ciaran Mullooly