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'Anglo Avenger' vows to run for Dail

The so-called 'Anglo Avenger' has vowed to run against former government minister Frank Fahey in the Galway West constituency in the general election.

Mayo property developer Joe McNamara (41), who is at loggerheads with Anglo Irish Bank over debts of €3.5m, made the impromptu announcement at a noisy public meeting on the economy in Galway last night.

Mr McNamara hit the headlines last September when he drove a cement truck bearing the slogan 'Toxic Bank' and 'Anglo' in red letters up against the gates of Leinster House.

Another slogan painted on the vehicle said "All politicians should be sacked".

Last April the same cement truck was parked outside the Anglo Irish Bank branch in Galway city. The engine was running but the doors were locked.

Last night's meeting at a Galway hotel was organised by Mr Fahey and the guest speaker was Dr Alan Ahearne, economic adviser to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

It was chaired by Aer Arann founder, businessman Padraic O'Ceidigh, and attended by an estimated 250 people.

There was tight security at the meeting, but Mr Fahey stressed he had not requested a garda presence. He insisted that the meeting was not political and that Dr Ahearne and Mr O'Ceidigh were there in an independent capacity.

But he was shaken when he was booed, but also applauded after his opening address which outlined his views on the economic downturn. He admitted that mistakes had been made by the Government and he apologised for these, but he stressed that measures had since been put in place to allow for the growth in exports.

And he predicted that Fianna Fail would do better in the general election than the pundits were forecasting in the opinion polls.

Dr Ahearne also came in for some heckling during his address and later a number of people walked out.

Irish Independent