Date for Irish presidential election confirmed

Ireland's presidential election is to be held on October 26, it has been confirmed.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that a formal order for the presidential election will be signed on Tuesday.

This will start the 28-day period in which hopeful candidates can secure their place on the ballot paper.

The closing date for nominations is September 26. 

Potential candidates will have to gain the support of four county councils or the backing of 20 TDs and Senators.

Ireland's current president Michael D Higgins confirmed in June that he will seek re-election for a second term.

Each term lasts seven years. 

Gavin Duffy
Gavin Duffy is among those seeking nomination (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Higgins has the backing of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail. 

Mr Murphy confirmed the election date on RTE's Today With Miriam.

A number of councils around the country have been hearing petitions from hopeful candidates, including Meath County Council on Monday.

Among those seeking nomination is Dragons' Den star Gavin Duffy, founder of Pieta House suicide prevention charity Senator Joan Freeman, journalist Gemma O'Doherty and artist Kevin Sharkey.

Sinn Fein said it will also include a candidate, but is not expected to reveal the identity for a number of weeks.

Others seeking nomination include Marilyn Monroe impersonator Sarah Louise Mulligan, farmer John Groarke and Marie Goretti Moylan.

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