Seven line up for president's job
The race to become Ireland's ninth president is under way in earnest with a record seven candidates vying for the job.
Independent Senator David Norris and former Eurovision winner Dana Rosemary Scallon secured the backing of four local authorities on Tuesday to be formally nominated to stand in the election.
The pair will now go head to head on October 27 against Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell, Labour's Michael D Higgins, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness and independent candidates Mary Davis and Sean Gallagher.
While Mr Mitchell, Mr Higgins and Mr McGuinness had the firm backing of their parties, the four independents needed to secure the signatures of 20 Oireachtas members or majority support of four county councils each.
Ms Davis and Mr Gallagher had local authority backing weeks ago with Dana voted in over the last two days.
But despite topping recent polls, and collecting as many as 18 signatures, Mr Norris was left struggling to secure council support.
After an 11th-hour scramble, he was finally given the nod by a fourth council, Dublin city, late on Tuesday night.