Dana future in presidential campaign in doubt

Dana's continuation in the Presidential race remains unclear this morning after a bizarre announcement by the Presidential candidate last night.

Towards the end of the live TV debate she read from a prepared statement, claiming "vile and false" allegations were being made against a member of her family, and attempts were being made to implicate her and destroy her good character.

As she arrived at RTE Dana didn't seem anxious, but as the debate neared an end in the Prime Time studio, suddenly Dana started reading from a prepared script.

Despite being pressed by Miriam O'Callaghan, she wouldn't go into detail.

It is understood she was referring to a possible story that some newspapers are aware of, but have for now at least decided not to publish for legal reasons.

She left RTE through a side-door, avoiding the waiting media.

Asked in the debate if she would consider withdrawing from the race, she declared a wish not to give in to malicious intent, but that she had expressed an intention to pull out if more allegations were made.

The debate itself dealt with issues like the power of the Presidency.

Candidates clashed over whether the oath, with the allegiance to Almighty God, should be changed.

Seán Gallagher explained a controversy surrounding funding given to a company he was involved in that was later repaid in a settlement.

Martin McGuinness was again defending his IRA past, while David Norris said allegations of welfare fraud surrounding his disability pension had been exposed as a lie.

All the candidates except Dana attended a press conference after the debate, where they all claimed the TV debates did not work with so many of them there.

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