FG Presidential candidate Gay Mitchell told www.longfordleader.ie this week that he believes that Senator David Norris has obtained enough signatures to secure a nomination for the upcoming presidential election. Mr Norris unveiled the 12 Oireachtas members who were supporting his nomination last week and just a few days later two more – Senators Katherine Zappone and Fiach MacConghail have indicated that they would support his nomination.
However speaking at the Co Longford Show on Saturday, Mr Mitchell said that he believed Mr Norris has secured the 20 signatories he requires for the nomination.
“My belief is that David Norris already has the nomination and he’s playing this game very well . I want to see all the candidates who want a nomination, including Robert Ballagh if he wants a nomination, let them all at it as far as I’m concerned. While in Moydow at the Co Longford Show, Mr Mitchell was keen to hammer home his rural credentials.
“What people don’t know is that for three years I worked for the Irish Farmer’s Association, I worked in a farm in the hinterland of Tuam for most summers for a long number of years, and I know North Leitrim like the back of my hand from my fishing days,” Mr Mitchell said, adding that “people might be surprised by my connections to the rural Ireland”.
Mr Mitchell spoke a number of times about his desire to create a more inclusive presidency.
“I think we need continuity from President McAleese and we need a society that is truly inclusive and people feel that they are involved and that they belong,” he said.
Full interview in this week’s Longford Leader, out Wednesday July 27.