Businessman Gavin Duffy says his presidency would 'achieve Ireland's full potential'

The 'Dragon's Den' investor is hoping to get a nomination from four local authorities

Businessman Gavin Duffy says his presidency would 'achieve Ireland's full potential'

File photo of Dragons Den star Gavin Duffy in Dublin | Image: Sam Boal/

Businessman Gavin Duffy says his ability to make big decisions will be key to making him a good president.

The 'Dragon's Den' investor has announced he is seeking nominations from four local authorities to run in the presidential election.

He is to speak to Waterford County Council on Tuesday.

Mr Duffy says: "If I get the required four council nominations I will run the most modern, dynamic, interactive election campaign possible.

"If you want to be on the rollercoaster, make history, elect a president that is not just above but is not of politics".

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Mr Duffy says he has plenty of experience making judgement calls.

"The reason I want to be president is I have a vision for the presidency and I would call it... the presidency of achieving Ireland's full potential.

"We have to be clear: the question you're always going to be asked is what would be different about your presidency versus previous ones.

"The presidency is very restricted - the president has no power, but has an awful lot of influence."

"It's the influence that a person in Áras an Uachtaráin can bring to the role that is key and is critical.

"You're right to describe me... as a business person and I'm very proud of that - but I'm not of big business.

"Most people know me through 'Dragon's Den' where I'm looking at the potential in small businesses and start-ups... the day job has been spotting the potential in people.

"And I believe the Republic of Ireland is changing wonderfully and beyond recognition, and changing for the better."

"Let's just look across the border to Northern Ireland, where the politicians from the two communities can't sit down and talk with one another, where they can't even form an assembly.

"And you see that Northern Ireland is looking, sadly, regressive and divisive.

"If you look to the right of us, if you look to the left of us, we see the United Kingdom leaving Europe for an unknown destination and unknown consequences for themselves and their neighbours.

"And in the United States we see a president who has done away with the hope that used to be offered to the huddled masses."

"All the good that's been happening"

On what he could do, Mr Duffy says: "I'll be highlighting all the good that's been happening in this country.

"The narrative in Ireland can often be very, very negative and our political establishment - unfortunately with a 24/7 media, and that's just a reality - they're always on election footing."

Citing Erskine Childers, Mr Duffy says: " Because the president is above politics they can do more as regards creating the climate and mood for change in the country by highlighting what people are doing around the country and to offer an alternative to the incessant negative narrative".

On not having a political or legal background, he says: "Wouldn't it send out an amazing signal to the world that if we were elect somebody who's not from the political establishment?".

"You need to have experience in making judgement calls.

"When we come down to the three powers of the president: referral of a bill to the Supreme Court or to decide... to refuse a dissolution of the Dáil, they're very big decisions and I've a track record of making big decisions and judgements".

"Is there a big difference between a business decision and a political decision: if you have 30 years or more of making judgments, if you have 30 years of advising people who have to make those judgements... I feel... I can step into the breach and do that - but I have to convince people of that".