'Warrior' White seeks nomination for presidency

Government Senator Mary White today announced her bid for the Irish presidency in 2011.

The businesswoman, who co-founded the successful Lir Chocolates firm in 1987, will be seeking the nomination from the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

She is the first person to declare an interest in the race to succeed Mary McAleese, who is midway through her second seven-year term.

"I want to be the third Mary in the Park," Senator White, 63, said today. "I'm a warrior and I'll give it my best shot."

Ms White said her goal for the presidency was to bring Ireland back to being a caring society in the post-Celtic Tiger era.

"The Celtic Tiger has been good for money and jobs, but it has changed Irish people.

"I want to take us from being an aggressive, consumer society back to be a caring society. People don't look out for each other anymore."

The Dundalk-born senator was elected to the Seanad in 2002 and re-elected on to the Industrial and Commercial panel last summer.

She is the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on children and older people and has published policy documents on these issues.

The senator is planning a conference in Dublin later this month to discuss issues around suicide.

The mother-of-one is married to Padraic White, who was IDA managing director from 1980-1990.

She is a former chairwoman of The President's Award - Gaisce of Ireland.

She has served on several state boards including the Higher Education Authority, the National College of Art and Design and An Bord Bia.

A member of Fianna Fáil since 1983, she currently also sits on its national executive.

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