‘’RENUA Ireland will back any credible alternatives to Michael D to ensure the office of the Presidency doesn’t turn into some form of closet monarchy’’ party leader John Leahy has pledged.

Mr Leahy said

‘’Ireland deserves a debate and Ireland deserves the option of difference.

I will work in that regard to ensure the free-thinking councillors of Offaly defies the party whip should credible challengers to Michael D come forward.

We will support any democrat who wishes to run and are frozen out by the system.

We respect Michael D, but it should be noted his Presidency has neither changed nor transformed the country.

Far from being a radical President he is essentially an establishment figure.

He says that which the powerful like to hear him to say.

But, he has made little difference to the lives of the rural dispossessed, those who get up early to go to work and those working couples who are seeking a home to live in.

There is a raft of alternatives to Michael D from Frances Black to public intellectuals like David Mc Williams.

Many would do a better job than a President whose energy is flagging.

There is more to the task of President than appropriate sentiments and smiling nodding and waving.

The big parties should also remember Ireland is a democracy not a monarchy.

Michael D should have to work for the job of being President instead of inheriting it because of a lack of political imagination or will or the convenience of the elite’’.