Monday 19 March 2018

Fianna Fail TDs see Gallagher as 'ideal' candidate for Europe

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

FIANNA Fail TDs last night said Sean Gallagher would make an ideal candidate for the party in the European elections when they are held in three years' time.

However, other party politicians said Mr Gallagher could choose the "Dana route" and stand as an Independent.

In a number of weekend interviews, he repeatedly left the door open on returning to politics by refusing to rule out running for election again.

There has been some speculation that he could return to Fianna Fail, and one TD last night said: "I hope he does.

"In fairness to him, he was really disillusioned by the party during the last six months in Government and he didn't really go into that in the election," the TD added.

"He was disappointed that so little was being done for small businesses."

Another TD mentioned Mr Gallagher as a possible Fianna Fail candidate in the Ireland East constituency for the 2014 European elections, saying he would be a threat to Fine Gael Mairead McGuinness.

"But if he wanted to run (for the Dail) in Louth he could, because everyone expects (sitting FF TD) Seamus Kirk will retire."

Mr Gallagher was director of elections for Mr Kirk in 2007,' but "went out of his way to fight with Dermot Ahern's people so they don't really like him," the TD added.

Excluding Dublin, Mr Gallagher polled best in Leinster, where he got 32.2pc of first-preference votes, and he also topped the poll in Laois-Offaly.

Dana capitalised on her 1997 presidential run -- when she came third, by competing in the 1999 European elections.

She won a seat in Connacht-Ulster, but lost it in 2004.

Yet another idea floated was that Mr Gallagher could set up his own political party. He said over the weekend that he would publish all his financial accounts to maintain "his professional and personal integrity".

The 2010 accounts for Smart Homes and Beach House Training and Consulting are due to be filed next month

Meanwhile, businessman Hugh Morgan last night insisted Mr Gallagher invited him to a €5,000 Fianna Fail fundraising dinner.

Mr Morgan also said Mr Gallagher personally delivered a photo taken of him with then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

Mr Gallagher has claimed he left it at a hotel for Mr Morgan to collect.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News