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Sunday 22 October 2017

All-Ireland winning boss adds support to call for Yes vote

Dublin Football
manager Pat
Gilroy at a public
meeting on the
Referendum at
the Marino
Institute, Dublin
Dublin Football manager Pat Gilroy at a public meeting on the Referendum at the Marino Institute, Dublin

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

DUBLIN football manager Pat Gilroy last night stumped for a Yes vote with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, saying a No vote would damage Ireland's credibility.

But Mr Gilroy's presence at the fiscal treaty meeting on Dublin's northside could lead to speculation he may run with Fine Gael in future.

However, he told the meeting he had no party political background, but had a job, a family and a passion for his country.

When asked if he would run for office in the future, he said: "I never say never to anything but I'd nearly say never to that" -- and added he would help other political parties if asked.

He described the fiscal treaty referendum as "too important to stay in the silent majority".

Mr Gilroy had already thrown his weight behind the Yes campaign, and is a patron of the pro-treaty 'Alliance for Ireland' group founded by veteran EU campaigners Pat Cox and Brendan Halligan.

He was joined as a patron by Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, Cork football manager Conor Counihan and former Wexford hurling manager Liam Griffin.

Mr Gilroy is also a successful businessman and is managing director of energy company Dalkia Ireland.

He was asked to attend the meeting by Mr Bruton's Dublin North-Central constituency organisation, and the meeting in the Marino Institute of Education was attended by around 100 people.

Mr Bruton told the meeting the treaty will help "provide a long term funding package to underpin the eurozone".

Mr Gilroy said: "If we're to vote No to this we would do a lot of damage to ourselves in that credibility issue."

Dangerous

And he rejected the notion that Ireland should default, saying people in Argentina went without wages when that country defaulted.

A No vote is "too dangerous, it's a very big gamble", he said.

The Taoiseach said companies deciding whether to invest in Ireland want to know what kind of country they are putting their money into. "They will not invest in a country where there is uncertainty or political instability," he said.

Mr Kenny also defended his decision not to take part in a TV3 debate against Gerry Adams, and laid the blame at comments made by Vincent Browne in 2010, when the broadcaster told Mr Kenny to shoot himself.

Analysis

Irish Independent

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