Whilst no one is in any rush to see Michael D Higgins’ time as Uachtarán na hÉireann come to an end, Dundalk-based bookmaker Boylesports believe that his successor could be local, very local in fact.
The betting company have opened a book on who will be the next President of Ireland – with Ardee woman Mairead McGuinness leading the race. McGuinness, currently a Fine Gael MEP and European Parliament Vice-President is priced as the outright favourite to be the next Irish president at odds of 11/2.
She leads former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern who is priced as the 6/1 second favourite for taking up residence at Áras an Uachtaráin in the Phoenix Park. RTE broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan is 7/1 as is Barnados chief Fergus Finlay while European Ombudsman Emma O’Reilly is 8/1.
A bid for the presidency would not be new to Ardee-native McGuinness. In April 2011, McGuiness announced that she wished to run for President of Ireland, seeking the Fine Gael party nomination for the 2011 election. However, late that year she was defeated for the nomination by Gay Mitchell.
In January, the former Ear to the Ground host failed in her bid to win the presidency of the European Parliament, instead being re-elected as a vice-president – becoming the first VP to new European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani. She will remain in her role until summer 2019. She is a member of both the Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.
Other names in the running according to Boylesports include Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams who is priced at 28/1. Joe Brolly is priced at 40s while Dana is a 150/1 shot for a successful presidential bid.