Gay senator David Norris has formally announced his bid to become the next president of Ireland. If successful, he will become the first openly gay head of state.
Mr Norris, an independent senator is currently the front runner to win the position, which is primarily ceremonial.
During his announcement, he said that he would become a “deeply serious” president if successful but added “that doesn’t mean there’s going to be no fun.”
When asked by reporters if Ireland is ready for an openly gay president, Mr Norris said: “I don’t see myself as a gay president, I see myself as a president who happens to be gay.”
He added: “I think the Irish people are a little bit bored with my sexuality”.
A poll in January for Paddy Power put Mr Norris ahead in the race for president. He was favoured by 27 per cent of the 1,001 people surveyed by Red C for Paddy Power.
This year’s election, to find the successor to Mary McAleese will be the first presidential election to be contested in 14 years. Mrs McAleese was elected unopposed in 2004.
If he is successful, Mr Norris will be the first openly gay head of state. Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland’s prime minister became the world’s first openly gay head of government in 2009.