Tuesday 6 December 2016

Businessman Sean Gallagher 'wouldn’t rule out' running in Presidential race again

Barry Lennon

Published 14/03/2016 | 16:42

Former presidential election candidate Sean Gallagher. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Former presidential election candidate Sean Gallagher. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Businessman Sean Gallagher has said he wouldn’t rule out another tilt at becoming President but it’s not a short-term plan.

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The former Dragon’s Den investor was hot favourite to win the presidency in 2011 but his campaign derailed in the final days after a bogus tweet read out during a live RTE debate led to questions about his character.

Mr Gallagher returned to RTÉ for an interview for the first time since that incident today and while he said he as “most sore” about the way he lost the election, he doesn’t regret running.

“The hardest part was while Martin McGuiness went back to Northern Ireland, Michael D went to the Áras, Mairead McGuinness back to the Special Olympics and Dana went elsewhere – she’s a lovely woman – I had given up my business interests to run,” he said.

Mr Gallagher said he wrote to the government suggesting that he could use his skills to help promote job creation but was disappointed not to get a reply.

Speaking on the Ray D’Arcy show, he added: “I don’t regret running (in 2011). It’s a great opportunity to meet loads of people and a wonderful experience.”

“I met Michael D and his wife since then. They’re lovely people and I have the height of respect for Michael D.

A number of parties have since approached Mr Gallagher to join them since his failed presidential bid but he said it “would be inappropriate” to say who he talked to.

Asked whether he would consider running again he said he “wouldn’t rule anything in or out” but he expects Michael D Higgins to be in-situ for some time.

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