27 Oct 2011

Irish set to elect ninth president

8:45 pm on 27 October 2011

Irish voters go to the polls on Thursday and Friday NZ time to elect the country's ninth head of state.

The election comes as the country continues its bid to recover from the worst recession in living memory.

The campaign for the presidency has been beset by controversy, with several of the seven candidates facing questions about their past careers.

The seven candidates are Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell, Michael D Higgins of the Labour Party and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, as well as independents Sean Gallagher, Dana Rosemary Scallon, Mary Davis and David Norris.

The winner will be announced at the weekend.