Olympic hero Kenny Egan to stand for Fine Gael in local elections
Published 31/01/2014 | 10:38
OLYMPIC silver medal hero Kenny Egan is set to be unveiled as a shock Fine Gael candidate in the local elections, the Herald can reveal.
The boxer has been in talks with senior party figures about running in the Clondalkin ward in May's elections.
Senior party sources admitted that fielding Egan represented a "gamble".
The former boxer told the Herald that he has yet to "sign on the dotted line" but is "extremely interested" in being a Fine Gael candidate.
"I've been approached by a lot of people and have held discussions with Frances Fitzgerald. I'm very interested in young people's issues," he said.
Given Egan's past addictions to alcohol, pornography and female escorts, senior Fine Gael party sources admitted that fielding the hero boxer represented a "gamble".
However, it's felt that Egan (32) would prove to be a popular candidate and open the party up to an influx of new and young members.
"I think it's worth the risk. He's a household name, it looks 95pc certain he will run," said a senior source.
However, his candidacy is sure to unnerve other party members who will be concerned about his zero experience in politics and his past addiction problems.
It was revealed earlier this week that Egan has rekindled his relationship with his first love Karen O'Sullivan. The couple split in 2008 after Mr Egan returned from the Beijing Olympics.
Asked whether he had a serious interest in politics, Egan said: "I've always been interested. There has been a lot of talk locally about me running but I've tried to keep a lid on it.
"I've held meetings now about potentially running for Fine Gael and I'll make that final decision shortly, but I have few more people to talk to."
If elected, Egan will serve on South Dublin County Council, which has been spared from Environment Minister Phil Hogan's local government reform plan.
Egan has spoken openly abut his addiction problems, which have been detailed in his autobiography, Kenny Egan: My Story.
The boxer revealed following his Olympic success, he was inundated with offers to turn professional, but turned them down because he was drinking so heavily at the time.
Speaking of his battle with drink, Egan revealed how he would go on week-long binges believing he had earned the right to celebrate.
"I said I was going to treat myself to a few pints, I felt it was my right, two years later I ended up in AA," he said last year.
Egan, who is now training to be an addiction counsellor, enjoyed flings with reality TV stars Bianca Gascoigne and Chanelle Houghton as well army officer Collette McBarron.
He was also in a long term relationship with PR executive Sharon McHugh.
By Niall O'Connor