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14.11 3 Sep 2018


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Businessman Gavin Duffy has become the first of the presidential hopefuls to secure a local authority nomination.

Mr Duffy secured the support of Meath County Council this afternoon.

Mr Duffy secured 17 votes, followed by his former Dragon’s Den colleague Seán Gallagher with seven votes - and Independent Senator Joan Freeman on two.

In a tweet after the vote, Mr Duffy thanked the councillors for their support.

The race for the Áras has resumed today with hopefuls addressing local authorities in Leitrim, Kerry, Meath, Wexford, Cork and Wicklow. 

Businessmen Sean Gallagher and Peter Casey made their pitch in Leitrim alongside artist and performer Sarah Louise Mulligan.

Mr Duffy, meanwhile, was in Kerry, hoping to drum up support in the Kingdom.

Speaking to Radio Kerry, he accused Mr Gallagher of “looking for a sympathy vote” after he lost out to Michael D Higgins in 2011.

He said he can’t see Mr Gallagher’s campaign matching up this time around.

“I have a great regard for Sean - he came so close the last time,” he said.

“I believe that going out looking for a sympathy vote on what happened the last time around versus what I am going to be offering – I believe that I have got a better platform.”

Ahead of the Leitrim Council meeting, Mr Gallagher told Ocean FM News that he is hoping to build on many of the same themes he ran in the last campaign.

“I have continued to work in business and continued with the same vision that I had for Ireland - about job creation and about local communities or enterprise,” he said.

“That has been part of the last seven years.

“Continuing to build on all the things that I stood for previously and have continued to stand for and they are all part of what has brought me here today.”

His fellow Dragon's Den star Peter Casey said he does not believe President Higgins is as popular as many people think.

“I don’t believe that the polls really are reflective of the mood of the people in the country,” he said.

“I think people are now starting to realise that the president interfered with the constitution, making public statements supporting Fidel Castro.    

“That is not the role of the President.”

Meanwhile, artist and performer Sarah Louise Mulligan was also in Leitrim today.

“Here are the Issues in Irish society I would really focus on,” she said.

“Child abuse, domestic abuse, suicide and elder abuse.

“Being a pro-life candidate; setting up pregnancy crisis centres, homelessness and President Trump.”

The candidates will have to the support of four county councils or 20 Oireachtas members in order to run for the election which takes place on October 26th.


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