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Banknote artist has no designs on Áras post

Artist Robert Ballagh told me this week he is amused by rumours he may run for the Presidency.

With Sinn Féin yet to approach anyone for their run at Aras an Uachtaráin, some had tipped the artist to be the party's candidate.

But hopes that the 65-year old could be about to turn himself into a runner for the office are way off the mark.

"I can't tell you the amount of times people have asked me if I'm going standing for the local elections or the general election. Now it's for the Presidency

"I've always been interested in politics but I have never considered public office, in any shape or form. I'm a painter. It's hard enough doing my own job, never mind being president," Robert told me this week.

But the republican artist did offer this on the subject of the race for the Park which begins later this year.

"I'm not, but if I was tempted to stand for the Presidency, I would immediately declare that I would donate my salary to the Simon Community, and not claim expenses. By saying that, I'd top the polls because the Irish people are sick and tired of carpet-baggers," he said.

Another rumour Robert wants to dispel is that, as the designer of the last Irish banknotes before the Euro, he is secretly working on designs for a new Irish currency giving the Euro equivalent is in such dire straits.

"I've yet to get the call," the Dublin born artist said last week.

Indo Review