Dana officially a candidate

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Derry singer turned politician, Dana Rosemary Scallon, formally began her campaign for the presidency on Wednesday after securing her place on the ballot paper the previous day.

The former MEP was nominated to stand by five councils, one more than the requirement for entry to the presidential race.

The councils who backed the Eurovision winner are; Offaly, Carlow, Rosscomman, Donegal, and Longford.

Mrs Scallon was given unanimous support by councillors who attended a special meeting of Donegal County Council held in Lifford on Tuesday to discuss the bid. Speaking after the meeting, Ms Scallon said she was moved by the generosity and words of encouragement of those who supported her.

She said the support was “not just for me but also for the role and for the democratic process.”

Donegal County Council was the third council to give its support to Mrs Scallon. The council had earlier indicated that it would support independent candidate Sean Gallagher but he withdrew his request for a nomination after gaining the support of four councils which allowed Mrs Scallon to seek the nomination.

Mrs Scallon and councillors praised the entrepreneur for withdrawing his request for a nomination.

Television cameras are normally not allowed to record in the chamber but an exception was made in this case and cameras were allowed to film after councillors suspended standing orders. The candidate was accompanied to the meeting by her brother, John.

Thanking the councillors for their support, the London-born singer said; “I am grateful that you made the effort to uphold democracy and very grateful that I am the recipient”