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5 Dec, 2023 11:51

Conor McGregor hints at Irish presidency bid

The MMA star has said he would consider privately funding a run to replace Michael D. Higgins in 2025
Conor McGregor hints at Irish presidency bid

Controversial Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor has fueled speculation that he may announce his candidacy for his country’s presidency ahead of elections in 2025, as he took aim at his potential political opponents on social media weeks after anti-immigration protests hit Dublin.

The 35-year-old former two-weight UFC world champion, who has been vocal about Irish immigration issues in recent weeks, is reportedly being investigated by Irish police for a series of social media posts he made before and during the riots in the capital.

In one post, which came soon after protesters assembled in Dublin following a knife attack on three young children and a daycare worker outside a school, McGregor suggested that Ireland was “at war.” The alleged suspect in the attack is reportedly an Algerian-born man who had lived in Ireland for two decades.

Writing on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, McGregor assessed his possible presidential rivals: Former prime ministers Bertie Ahern and Enda Kenny and ex-Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. They would be candidates, McGregor said, who have “unbreakable ties to their individual parties (sic) politics.”

“Or me,” McGregor said. “Young, active, passionate, fresh skin in the game. I listen. I support. I adapt. I have no affiliation/bias/favoritism to any party. They would genuinely be held to account regarding the current sway of public feeling. I’d even put it all to vote.”

He added: “I can fund it. It would not be me in power as president, people of Ireland. It would be me and you.” Neither Ahern, Kenny, or Adams have confirmed their intentions to run, although Ahern didn’t rule it out when asked.

Responding to reports of McGregor’s presidential ambitions, Paul Murphy, a member of parliament with the People Before Profit party, asked on X if the combat sports athlete was familiar with the process required to run for the Irish presidency. “Who is going to break the news about the nomination procedure for President to Conor McGregor?”

Should McGregor be on the ballot, he would require nominations from 20 members of the national parliament or four local authorities. It remains unclear if he would have the necessary support from within the Irish political system.

X owner Elon Musk also appeared to give his backing last month to a McGregor presidential bid, writing that his running for office was “not a bad idea.”

The office of the Irish presidency is a largely ceremonial role but does come with limited powers. The current president, Michael D. Higgins, was elected in 2011. McGregor has not fought in the UFC since he suffered a broken leg in a bout in July 2021. He is widely expected to return to the Octagon to fight rival Michael Chandler in the coming months.