Presidential Election candidate Seán Gallagher says he will urge the Government to carry out an annual audit of presidential expenditure if he is elected.

Speaking in Dublin today at his official campaign launch, Mr Gallagher also announced he had made a voluntary disclosure to the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).

"While it is not legally required, I believe that in doing so is in the interests of transparency and befitting the office," he said.

"If honoured to be elected, I would urge the Government to carry out an annual audit of all expenditure associated with the office of President."

Mr Gallagher's announcement comes after transparency on spending in the Áras has been criticised after a Public Accounts Committee hearing revealed there is an allowance of €317,000 that is not audited.

In his SIPO declaration, his main occupations are listed as directorships of four businesses: Seán Gallagher Business Matters, Heart Metabolics Ltd, HWT Engineering and Clyde Real Estate Management.

In total, Mr Gallagher listed 24 companies of which he is a director, he has stated that he has stepped back from all his business roles in his bid to be president.

"Our legal team are working to divest all my business interests and shares, so that is not an issue which will arise," he said.

Mr Gallagher has been criticised for being largely absent from Irish public life since his failed presidential bid in 2011, despite two major referendums in the State.

"I have been very active in public life, I said in 2011 I would do for jobs what Mary McAleese did for the peace process.

"For those seven years I've continued to work in business, I've continued to mentor and coach, I've continued to promote SMEs.

"If we're going to have a caring society, you do need hospitals and roads and schools, and that takes wealth.

"Wealth is created by small businesses and more importantly keeps our young people in areas where whole swathes of the country have not yet experienced the recovery, that to me has been incredible public service," he said.

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