Thursday 25 December 2014

Egan comes out fighting for FG as he vows to tell all

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 11/02/2014 | 02:30

Olympic boxer Kenneth Egan has vowed to openly discuss the "horror stories" surrounding his alcohol addiction during the upcoming local election campaign.

The retired athlete was yesterday formally unveiled as a Fine Gael candidate following days of speculation over which party he would sign for.

Egan (32) is hot favourite to take a council seat in Dublin's Clondalkin ward and has admitted that he may also look to run for the Dail.

Fine Gael has dismissed suggestions that the party is fielding another 'celebrity candidate' and insisted that Egan has a "passionate commitment" to youth affairs.

Kenneth Egan with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin, where he declared his intention to run for Fine Gael in the forthcoming local elections. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Kenneth Egan with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin, where he declared his intention to run for Fine Gael in the forthcoming local elections. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Former Olympic boxer Kenneth Egan already had his election literature ready to go yesterday when he declared his intention to run for Fine Gael. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Kenneth Egan
Kenneth Egan with Minister for Children and youth affairs, Francis Fitzgerald, TD

The Olympic silver medallist admitted that he has made mistakes in the past but pledged to use his experiences to help young people.

MISTAKES

"I've made lots of mistakes in my day. I know I have. I've been upfront and honest about that. One thing I am is honest in everything I do. There's not going to be any skeletons in the closet from me," he told the Irish Independent.

"If I can help youth in my local area, that's all I ask of myself. I'll be honest with them, I'll tell them my stories and I have some horror stories.

Asked whether he would be interested in running for a Dail seat, Egan said it remained a possibility. "I'm only starting but it's early days, anything can happen, you know," he said.

Egan said that he will not rely on his high-profile status to secure a council seat and insisted that he will now begin "knocking on doors" to canvass support.

Despite Fianna Fail claiming that they also pursued Egan as a candidate, he insisted that he was only formally approached by Fine Gael.

Egan was joined at his campaign launch in West Dublin by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran, Dublin Mid West TD Derek Keating and outgoing councillor Tony Delaney.

Egan, who is a reformed alcoholic, asked that he be referred to as 'Kenneth' during the campaign.

"I publicly announced that my name was Kenneth after I wrote the book – that was a number of years ago – that whole Kenny mania thing kicked in after I came back from the Olympic Games. I've always been known as Kenneth."

Egan's fellow sportsman – former Meath footballer Joe Sheridan – is also in the running for a seat. Last month he was selected to run in the Ashbourne electoral area for Fianna Fail.

Q FINE Gael is to conduct opinion polls in efforts to resolve its dilemma about picking a Euro election candidate, it emerged last night.

With nominations due to close tomorrow for next Sunday's selection convention for the four-seat South European Parliament constituency, the organisation is still conflicted about who should stand. Organisers believe they have a real chance of winning two seats.

Four potential candidates are expected to be the subject of the poll research: Wicklow TDs Andrew Doyle and Simon Harris, along with Wexford senator Michael D'Arcy. But maverick Waterford TD John Deasy is also to be included and is not being ruled out.

Irish Independent

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