For Sinn Féin, the race for the Áras is as important as the result

For Sinn Féin, the race for the Áras is as important as the result

It will be hard to beat Michael D Higgins, but putting a candidate forward is another step in the party’s move into the political mainstream

‘No terrorist in the Áras!” was the warning call that came from then Fine Gael minister Phil Hogan when the late Martin McGuinness announced he would contest the presidency in 2011. “Putting Mr McGuinness in charge of the state would make us look like a banana republic,” said Hogan.

His dire warnings were echoed across the political and media landscape. The veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne (who himself pondered a run) questioned whether the Irish people would...

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