Businessman Peter Casey says he is "in good form" as the counting of votes in the Presidential election is underway.
Exit polls suggest he will place second to Michael D Higgins - securing some 21% support in a surprise turnaround in the last week of polling.
He told Pat Kenny here on Newstalk that he was determined to stay in the race.
"If I decided every time there was a mountain that I couldn't climb, that I wouldn't climb it, then I wouldn't get anywhere in life".
"I think my team was amazing - there's only three people on the team.
"They sat me down after the first week and said 'Look, you need to pull out - you're not going to get one nomination'.
"And then I got the four nominations, and they said 'OK look, now's the perfect time to pull out because you've got four nominations (and) you haven't let yourself down".
"(But) I'd be letting everybody who nominated me down".
"You have to believe that you can achieve your dreams and you have to then work hard 100 hours a week minimum and you will achieve your dreams.
"This is just a little blip in the road".
Peter Casey speaking to the media at the meeting for the Stardust Victims Committee at the Hilton Hotel in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Asked what he intends to do next, Mr Casey said: "I'm going to campaign heavily that mandatory retirement from public life at 80" - suggesting this will only give President Higgins another two and a half years in office.
But he added that he will not be running for county council: "That's far too much - that's hard work".
His comments that Travellers should not be given ethnic status angered many, but clearly appealed to a significant amount of the electorate.
He claimed he does not accept that he stoked anti-Traveller sentiment with his comments.
"I believe it's very important that we are now a society that doesn't discriminate against any person under race, nationality, ethnicity, religion" - referring to his own childhood in Derry.
"When I grew up in Derry you were discriminated against, and they knew you were Catholic because you lived in that area - they knew you were Catholic because your name began with a Saint".
On his Traveller comments, he said: "I just simply brought to the fore something that was there already".