Monday 17 June 2019

'I want to be President' - Former UFC fighter Paddy Holohan tipped to win council seat

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Paddy
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Paddy "The Hooligan" Holohan Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Former UFC fighter Paddy Holohan is tipped to win a seat in South Dublin County Council, but has revealed that his political ambitions span far beyond the realms of his constituency.

“I would love to be the president of Ireland one day,” the 31-year-old from Jobstown, Tallaght told Independent.ie.

“Paddy Power had me at 50/1 to become president of the country by 2039, but that’s ages away so who knows what I’ll be doing then.

“It’s a mad goal, but I feel that an athlete representing the country would do a fantastic job, whether it’s me, Paul McGrath or Robbie Keane.

“It’s a crazy dream, but who knows. I may be the first ever councillor to get to the Aras,” he said.

The Sinn Fein candidate, who has topped the polls in the Tallaght South ward, believes his skills as a mixed martial artist will bode well for him in the political arena.  

“The ability to stay calm and collect is in my blood,” he continued.

“Knowing you’re going to fight someone with eight weeks’ notice builds up a special layer of toughness.

“I believe I can look at people’s mechanics and tell whether they’re making the right decisions or talking a load of nonsense.

“I’m not afraid of confrontation so I think I’ll be all right in the political arena.”

Mr Holohan added that he intends to focus on building closer communities in his constituency.

“I believe we need to support our local residential associations and have community leaders within estates.

“Far too many working class areas have been deprived of local amenities so I will do whatever I can to bring back these essential resources.”

The Jobstown native isn’t the only athlete to run in South Dublin’s local elections.

Olympic boxer Kenneth Egan ran a successful election campaign in Clondalkin in 2014 and is likely to retain his seat in South Dublin County Council once again.

However, Mr Holohan strongly criticised the silver medalist for running under a Fine Gael banner.

“Kenny ran for Fine Gael at a time when the government was raising taxes and cutting mental health supports everywhere.

“I think it was a very poor decision and I believes there’s a huge difference between our situations. "Besides, Kenny was an amateur while I was a professional athlete," he laughed.

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