It has literally just been confirmed from Sinn Féin that Martin McGuinness the Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland is to go forward as their candidate for the Irish Presidency.
His name will join that of Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell, Special Olympics boss Mary Davis, buisnessman Sean Gallagher and Labour's Michael D Higgins throwing his hate into the ring. The absence of a Fianna Fáil , for long seen as the natural party of government in Ireland until the elections earlier this year saw their vote and TDs reduced considerably, is noticeable as the other main parties will be fielding candidates, including now Sinn Féin.
Just yesterday when the Fianna Fáil executive gathered to try and endorse one of the independent candidates they failed to do even that. This is despite one of the parties own senators Labhrás Ó Murchú offering to put his name forward for the challenge.
If Martin McGuinness does enter the race to be Irish President, he like Gerry Adams before him is likely to have to resign his Westminster seat of Mid Ulster to allow him to contest the election in the republic. Ironically such a move would mean that Sinn Féin will have held both the Steward of the Manor of Northstead (Adams) and it would seem Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds which is due next when McGuinness has to resign his Westminster seat.
Looking at the field I would hazzard that McGuinness has the most charisma. The question is will the people vote for them. In recent Presidential election in Ireland the people have voted not necessarily the same way they vote for the Dail Éireann, so who can tell.