THE Irish public have donated over €8,000 to President Michael D. Higgins' re-election campaign in its opening hours.
President Higgins began raising money online yesterday a week after announcing his decision to run for a second term.
It’s the first of several fundraising initiatives before the election takes place on Friday 26 October.
An initial target of €50,000 has been set by Mr Higgins campaign.
The statement on his official website reads: “Michael D is one of Ireland’s most active, fearless, thoughtful, and caring political figures.
“With 23 days until Ireland votes for our next President – we need to raise €50,000 to build a winning campaign and a strong mandate. Can you chip in? #APresidentForUsAll”
Many of those who made donations left comments on the page.
One person wrote: “Michael D has been an important change maker in this country for many years. He is the only truly relevant candidate in this race.”
Some took the opportunity to criticise the president and his bid to raise money from the public, with one person commenting: “I think Higgins should fund his own campaign given his big salary and expenses and pensions, etc.”
Another wrote: “Spend your own money. Cop on.”
Meanwhile, fellow candidate Gavin Duffy announced yesterday that he will fund his €300,000 election campaign from personal resources and public donations, after a rumoured loan offer was on the table.
Yesterday his spokesman said: “Though the candidate had received a loan offer, he is not going to draw down the loan.”
President Higgins campaign outlined that all donations will be used to cover essential campaign costs, such as posters and leaflets.
They noted that €10 wold cover the cost of printing hanging up and taking down a campaign poster, €20 would fund 1,000 leaflets and €50 would pay for online ads.