Belfast Telegraph

Businessman Gavin Duffy receives first nomination for presidential election

The Dragon’s Den investor secured the backing of Meath County Council after councillors held a vote on Monday.

Businessman Gavin Duffy has received the first nomination from a local authority to contest the presidential election.

The Dragon’s Den investor secured the backing of Meath County Council after councillors held a vote on Monday.

Mr Duffy received 17 votes, defeating fellow businessman and Dragon’s Den star Sean Gallagher, who gained seven votes, and Independent Senator Joan Freeman who received two.

Mr Duffy secured votes from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Independent politicians, which he says confirms his cross-party appeal.

Sinn Fein councillor Caroline Lynch confirmed that Sinn Fein abstained from the vote as did four others.

In order to run for president, candidates require the support of at least four county councils or 20 elected representatives.

Local authorities in Kerry, Cork, Leitrim, Wexford and Wicklow will also all be addressed by prospective candidates.

Reacting to his nomination, Mr Duffy tweeted: “Thank you to the Councillors of Meath for giving me the first nomination in the 2018 Presidential Election.”

The presidential election will be held on October 26 and nominations have to be submitted by September 26.

Current president Michael D Higgins will nominate himself as an Independent candidate for another seven years in office.

He has also secured the backing of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, who have both agreed not to field candidates from their own parties.

Sinn Fein is due to field a candidate later in the month.

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