The Race to the Aras: Michael D gets the Labour nod, O’Dowd gets tipped from unlikely source

Michael D Higgins has secured Labour’s nomination for the Presidential election, seeing off Fergus Finlay and Kathleen O’Meara in the process. Meanwhile, as Eamonn Mallie tweets that the Irish Voice’s Niall O’Dowd has been in Dublin to check out potential support from Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, former special advisor to Michael McDowell, Cormac Lucey, has penned a piece in the Irish Daily Mail outlining why O’Dowd could be the dark horse in this campaign.

  • keano10

    Could well be worth a punt at 12/1…

  • pippakin

    I am firmly in the anyone but O”Dowd camp.

  • Mick Fealty

    These things always have an opening favourite. My favourite politician on the island is Michael D, but I am not at all sure he will make it. O’Dowd is dynamic, and an entreprenuer. But he’s been in NYC for thirty years. It’s just too early to call.

  • Nunoftheabove

    I agree that MDH is unlikely to make it, sadly his ‘image’ won’t fit. It’s coming to something though when a man’s plain integrity and commonsense deems him unfashionable and probably unelectable. I also think his agreeable sense of humour doesn’t come across often enough on the media and loses him other potential sources of support.

    O’Dowd – opportunism ? Who knew ? Interesting but not altogether surprising inclusion if there is much of substance to it in the event, he may cause a realignment in thinking among some of the others even if he doesn’t ultimately make it to the starting line. Adds a little chilli sauce to the race if nowt else. He’s certainly not someone burdened by a lack of self-confidence although this may alienate as many as it attracts. Mind you, No’D would come in handy on the visa front and that’s a factor which may have more appeal in the circumstances than some of the other issues being pushed by resident would-be candidates.

  • Greenflag

    The Labour Party has been in ‘office ‘ now the requisite 100 days and so far the only achievement has been that Tanaiste Gilmore has been made an honorary member of the Masai tribe on hos recent Tanzanian visit . The Masai the ‘red ochred’ people are world renowned for their pastoral society and cattle rearing culture and their continued practice of the ancient practice of transhumance as a dietary staple also practiced in ancient Ireland and elsewhere as an alternative to killing valuable cattle . Briefly transhumance is bloodletting of the cow and mixing the blood with a local staple sorghum and then cooking as a kind of omelette.

    Not too unalike what the IMF/ECB are now imposing on the Irish people and their economy, So as German , French and British and Irish banks ‘eat ‘ the Irish people with the approval of our elected representatives -all of them -it hardly matters who is elected President of the TCA ( tanzanian cattle association)-the bloodletting will continue regardless of who sits in the Aras while the rest of them sit on their arses transfixed like rabbits in the glare of ECB/IMF headlights .

    In this ‘climate’ it would not surprise me if O’Dowd managed to get nominated and frankly he would be as good if not better than most . He is no Windsor /Saxe Coburg Gotha like Queenie so keeping a tight lip could prove saunting for the man . Still the sheer effrontery of electing an Irish President who has been a resident (not sure if he’s a USA citizen ) of the USA is probably enough to send cardiac tremors throughout the Dail and Senate and could be very appealing to that large section of Irish society I’d guess close to 75% who remain deeply disappointed in the performance of our public representatives particularly these past several years .

    I’d prefer either O’Dowd or Norris as in one way or another both are ‘outsiders’ in the broadest sense of that term and what Ireland does not need right now is another party safe and non controversial ‘insider’ yes man.

  • pippakin

    What Ireland does not need is the likes of O’Dowd pontificating from the Olympian heights of Boston.

    A president is a mostly ceremonial role where politics are largely sidelined for the duration. I worry that if someone like O’Dowd were elected that precedent would disappear in a flurry of unaffordable (but who cares about a little thing like that, right) republican pipe dreams.

    I like Michael D but as much as he is ‘liked’ I’m not sure he has the charisma to carry the day. Norris is another favourite but the rumours have not quite gone and they are damaging.

  • Mrs jones

    The dragons den Bill Cullen has thrown his hat in the ring?MDH might surprise a few people with Norris backing him on the campaign trail.A clever move by The Labour Party,who as G-Flag says have played it safe.
    Higgins past membership of Fianna Fail might even fetch
    a few Right votes away from the O’Dowds Extreme Right.
    ULA might even way in on the Left of Labours Right with an agreement for

  • Greenflag

    @ mrs jones,

    O’Dowd’s extreme right ?

    ????

    There is no extreme right in Irish politics and even in Northern Ireland that small field is populated mainly by the TUV which has elected 1 MLA to an Assembly with 108 members .

    You seem to have faded away at the end of the post ? It’s usually better to finish what you start in the interest of coherence 🙂

    Those opposing Senator Norris i.e the party candidates may yet ‘Parnellize ‘ the Joycean scholar for party interests but in a ‘crowded ‘ electoral field even Senator Norris as well as Niall O’Dowd could have appeal to those of us who are disenchanted with all of the parties . The wisest move of all may be FF’s decision not to contest but to support a candidate who is neither Labour nor FG.

    MDH is not the worst candidate and is overall close enough for me to consider ‘politically’ in this non political post. But his voice is irritating to mine ears anyway 😉

    Don’t know if FF would weigh in behind an O”Dowd bid along with SF . Since they have gone into ‘opposition’ they have almost disappeared from the ‘meeja’ Is yer man Martin still their leader?

  • Greenflag

    Having listened to Niall O’Dowd and considering his role in getting former USA President Clinton involved in the peace process and the ultimate NI GFA he may despite being on the other side of the pond have done more for this country and NI than any of the other candidates . If he gets the support of the requisite number of members of the Oireachtas (Dail and Senate) he could be more than a dark horse in a crowded race .

    BTW will this be a FPTP election or will PR apply ? I should know but it’s been so long since we had an election for President I’ve forgotten ?

  • Mrs jones

    ULAs Richard Boyd Barrett has actually backed the Norris camp.TD for Kingstown Barrett confirmed the ‘lefts approvall of Norris’ nomination two weeks ago.

    People Before Profit deputy Richard Boyd-Barrett said the five ULA TDs would have liked to see the emergence of a candidate explicitly associated with opposition to the EU-IMF bailout deal.-“In the absence of that I think we would support David Norris and certainly want to facilitate him getting on the ballot paper. That would be the view within the ULA.”

    Fine Gael lead ‘The Republic’ into the EEC in the 70s.I meant ‘extreme’ in ‘economic terms’.There was only 70,000 people unemployed in 1972.Therefore Fine Gael/Labour are to blame for 460,000 on the dole.
    Niall O’Dowd is the brother of Fergie O’Dowd,Fine Gael TD.

    All the Partys in the South now favour a Corporation Tax of 12.5%.ULA have lead the working class where?In the interest of coherence….FF were also ‘party’ to the ‘exclusively non-elected body….

    Before direct elections to the European Parliament were held, member countries sent delegations from their National Parliament.

    The first Irish delegation served from 1 January, 1973 until the general election of 1973.

    Conor Cruise O’Brien – Labour Party.
    Anthony Esmonde – Fine Gael.
    Michael Herbert – Fianna Fáil.
    Michael Hilliard – Fianna Fáil.
    Justin Keating – Labour Party.
    Charles McDonald – Fine Gael.
    Farrell McElgunn – Fianna Fáil.
    Tom Nolan – Fianna Fáil.
    Richie Ryan– Fine Gael.
    Michael Yeats – Fianna Fáil.

    If the ‘TUV’ are the ‘extreme’ in the ‘north’,what does that make Ulster Resistence Leader Peter Robinson?What does it make UDA ‘Brigadier’ Jackie MacDonald?Best mates with El President.

  • Greenflag

    I meant ‘extreme’ in ‘economic terms’.

    Best to write what you mean and mean what you write .

    ‘There was only 70,000 people unemployed in 1972.’

    That was due to the fact that an estimated million people left (emigrated from/fled) the State between 1922 and 1966 . The population in 1972 was just under 3 million . In the mid 1950’s when the rest of Europe in particular Germany was recovering economically Ireland was exporting a thousand people a week . Not until a radical shakeup in the State’s attitude to foreign investment and a more open economy from the late 1950’s did the economy begin to improve and then continued to improve despite setbacks in the mid 1970’s due to a failure to deal with high oil price induced inflation and in the mid 1980’s with the failure to deal with excessive public sector costs in relation to the size of the real economy.

    ;Therefore Fine Gael/Labour are to blame for 460,000 on the dole.’

    Indeed and President Obama is to blame for the 28 million unemployed in the USA and the almost 50 million on food stamps . ?

    In retro and we are all wiser in hindsight is that the Irish Government and opposition should have been less enthusiastic about joining the Eurozone at the time they did or at least more aware of what access to huge amounts of lending finance at 2% could do to an economy already overheating with an economic growth rate of 10% in the late 1990’s with an interest rate of 5% .

    Our politicians could have dampened down the ‘insane ‘ property bubble -but they did’nt . Alas the voters were unkind to any of those politicians who might have suggested that the ‘gravy train’ was about to come to a grinding halt.

    ‘Niall O’Dowd is the brother of Fergie O’Dowd,Fine Gael TD.’

    So what ? Patrick Pearse’s father was an Englishman and De Valera’s was a Cuban Spaniard ?

    DNA is not political or economic or linguistic destiny . Ask any Serb or Croat or Bosnian or Israeli or Palestinian or the eejits on both sides in the Short Strand area in Belfast who
    can’t wait to throw stones or worse at them uns .

    ‘If the ‘TUV’ are the ‘extreme’ in the ‘north’,what does that make Ulster Resistence Leader Peter Robinson?’

    Extreme is probably the wrong epithet in the case of the TUV – politically stupid would have been more apt .

    As for what that makes Mr Robinson ? I’d guess a very astute and capable politician .

    PS

    Kingstown is known as Dun Laoghaire . Prior to 1821 the small fishing village was known as Dunleary . The name was changed in ‘honour ‘ some would say in ‘subjection’ to the visit of the Hanoverian Saxe Coburg King George IV in 1821 . The name was changed back to Dun Laoghaire in the newer Irish spelling in the 1920’s .

    If you grew up calling it Kingstown you must be close to your 120th birthday or else you could be having problems with the process of change and adaptation . I take it you don’t call Chemnitz , Karl Marx Stadt or St Petersburg Leningrad ?

    There are still a few people around who were born in St Petersburg and who lived almost the entirety of their lives in Leningrad and who will die in St Petersburg while living in the same house and surviving both Russian Revolution and the WW2 siege in which an estimated million people died.

  • Greenflag

    continued

    Neither Dunleary/Kingstown /nor Dun Laoghaire suffered in the manner of St Petersburg /Leningrad for which kindness no doubt the local citizenry will be always grateful.

  • Mrs jones

    Therefore Fine Gael/Labour are to blame for 460,000 on the dole.’-In my estimation that’s an increase of 650% in the unemployment figures.Endas bank skills means i somehow owe some banker i’ve never met 146,000.They’ll have to sue me.

    In retro and we are all wiser in hindsight is that the Irish Government and opposition should have been less enthusiastic about joining the Eurozone at the time they did or at least more aware of what access to huge amounts of lending finance at 2% could do to an economy already overheating with an economic growth rate of 10% in the late 1990′s with an interest rate of 5% .

    -Wisdom is better than silver and gold…….I had friends who died on the streets of England.Most of my relatives had to emmigrate in the 80s to find a bit of work in England…..Due to the ‘overheaated economic policies pursued by Fine Gael/Labour and Fianna Fail at the beginning of the seventies.

    I’m not quite 120 yet but by the time kenny and gilmore sort out a few jobs i’ll probably be not far off the mark.

  • Mrs jones

    If you grew up calling it Kingstown you must be close to your 120th birthday or else you could be having problems with the process of change and adaptation . I take it you don’t call Chemnitz , Karl Marx Stadt or St Petersburg Leningrad ?…..St. Peters is St Peters and Lenin is Lenin…..

    As for what that makes Mr Robinson ? I’d guess a very astute and capable politician……No doubt Brigadier Robinson is a clever******……….45,46,47,48 and Brigadier Paisley will be remembered for chucklin with 67,68,69…..