DUBLIN – Irish President Mary McAleese has cast her ballot in the election that will see one of seven candidates succeed her, according to the BBC. The outgoing president, who has served two terms in office, was one of the first arrivals to cast their vote in St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park. She voted along with her husband, Senator Martin McAleese. Polling stations in 43 constituencies opened at 07:00 BST on Thursday and were to close at 22:00 BST.
The president, who serves as head of state, is elected for a seven-year term and can be re-elected only once. The campaign for the presidency has been beset by controversy with several of the seven candidates facing some controversy about their past careers.
The seven candidates are Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell, Michael D Higgins of the Labour Party, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness as well as independents Sean Gallagher, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Mary Davis and David Norris. Counting will begin at about 09:00 BST on Friday with the announcement of the winner due at the weekend.