Liam Fay: There's a danger Gallagher's promise may prove empty
Published 17/10/2011 | 05:00
THEY were playing his tune, but Sean Gallagher didn't seem to notice. It was shortly after 3pm yesterday as the Independent candidate and his small entourage made a hasty departure from Pairc Tailteann in Navan, where they had stopped off for 20 minutes to canvass spectators at the Meath county football final.
Just as Team Gallagher was leaving the GAA stadium, the Navan Silver Band launched into 'Amhran na bhFiann', and the attendance duly stood to attention. Most of the officials around the exit gates followed suit, arms held respectfully behind their backs. Gallagher, however, kept on walking, talking and indeed campaigning, shaking hands with latecomers and soliciting their votes.
The sharp rise in Gallagher's popularity ratings -- now 39pc, according to one poll -- has altered the nature of his candidacy. He began the race as a no-hoper but has become the one to beat. However, Gallagher's status as red-hot favourite hasn't so much ignited his campaign as plunged it into a curious state of frozen paralysis.