Saturday, 9 April 2011

18th Baron Inchiquin

According to The Clare Champion newspaper, the present Lord Inchiquin has not ruled out the possibility of standing as a candidate in the next Irish presidential election.

Lord Inchiquin, 18th Baron and 10th O'Brien Baronet,  whose ancestors were Earls of Thomond, Earls of Inchiquin and Marquesses of Thomond, is descended from Brian Boru who, as High King of Ireland, had his seat of power at Kincora, Killaloe, is the latest name to be connected with the Irish presidential race.

He is not ruling out the possibility of throwing his hat into the ring to become the next occupant of the former Viceregal Lodge in Phoenix Park.

The chief of the 700,000-strong O’Brien Clan has confirmed he would consider entering the race as a non-political candidate, if a groundswell of support for his candidacy emerged.

Speaking to The Clare Champion, the 67-year-old peer he said would weigh up his options if the O’Brien Clan asked him to put his name forward but stressed he would not presume the clan would support any presidential bid.

Lord Inchiquin admits the odds are against him becoming the next Irish President, pitted against the PR machines of the three main Irish political parties and is not fully convinced that the Republic of Ireland is ready to elect him because of his English roots. He also acknowledged that he would have to learn to speak Irish:

“There is no point in me putting my name forward unless I have a reasonable chance of success. If the presidential election was not a political race, I would seriously consider going forward. Irish people have to be willing to go for a change to a non-political contest. I am not actively campaigning or canvassing to become President and I don’t think I would put my name forward at this stage.

I am not ruling it out though and I would consider running if I had the backing of a good section of Irish people. I am not sure if Ireland is ready to go back to its past and elect a chieftain as President of Ireland. I am honoured to be even considered for the highest office in the land and it would add a new dimension to the race,” he said.

Frank Meehan described the Prince of Thomond as an enlightened and exemplary 21st century leader who had earned the love, honour and respect of the hundreds of thousands of local and international clan members, who would travel from the four corners of the world for the millennium celebrations of the Battle of Clontarf and death of Brian Boru in April 2014.

James O’Neill-O’Brien called on Clare people to lobby councillors to support O’Brien’s candidacy:

“Conor O’Brien is a prince, a perfect gentleman and truly above politics. His presidency would be good for Clare and good for Ireland. Ireland deserves a President with the gravitas of a chief of a royal and ancient clan, rather than a retired politician or TV presenter. 

As chief of the 700,000-member O’Brien Clan, Conor O’Brien will be presiding over one of the largest gatherings in history during commemorations of the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf and the death of Brian Boru. Millions of visitors mean billions of euros for the Irish economy. There is no better choice for President of Ireland,” he claimed.

Far be it for Timothy Belmont to become involved in the Irish presidential election (it could be a poisoned chalice!); nevertheless, my vote would definitely go to Conor Lord Inchiquin and I wish him well, and the O'Brien Clan.

Arms of 1st Marquess of Thomond courtesy of European Heraldry.

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