Wednesday 17 July 2019

Former Dragons' Den star Peter Casey secures two nominations to contest presidential election

Áras contender: Peter Casey
Áras contender: Peter Casey

Cormac McQuinn and Gordon Deegan

Clare Co Council on Monday became the second local authority to nominate RTE Dragon star and businessman, Peter Casey as a candidate in the forthcoming Presidential election.

Mr Casey secured the nomination from the Council in spite of garnering only seven votes in favour of the nomination from the 28-member strong Council.

However, as no councillor opposed his nomination - with the bulk of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil members abstaining in the vote - Mr Casey secured the nomination.

The nomination by Clare County Council follows Kerry County Council nominating Mr Casey earlier on Monday and Mr Casey requires two more nominations from local authorities in order to stand as a candidate in the election.

Mr Casey was proposed by independent councillor, Cllr Ann Norton and seconded by  a second independent councillor, Cllr Gerry Flynn.

Five other councillors voted in favour of the Council supporting the Casey nomination and they are Cllr Ian Lynch (FG), Cllr PJ Kelly (FF), Cllr Richard Nagle (FF), Cllr Claire Colleran Molloy (FF) and Cllr Christy Curtin (Ind).

Eighteen councillors abstained with three councillors absent for the vote.

Cllr Flynn told the September Council meeting: “This isn’t a political issue or one of personal agreement with any candidate. I am trying to facilitate the democratic process to facilitate as broad a choice for the public.

He added: “Our role as councillors is not to limit choice….councillors are constantly having their powers taken away. Here we have an opportunity to use one of our functions and I for one will always make sure that any power we have left is exercised. That is why I support the nomination of Peter Casey.”

Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) told the meeting that he found the whole exercise where the Presidential hopefuls addressed the council last Friday week “to be a total circus”.

Cllr Crowe - who later abstained in the vote- said that he found two or three of the Presidential hopefuls "to be very genuine with wonderful credentials and would make fantastic candidates and fantastic Presidents".

He added: “But there was more talk about Trump in here and Eight Amendments and abortion and it was just crazy. And Cllr Mary Howard (FG) questioned one of the candidates, Gemma O’Doherty and I have never seen a more insulting and aggressive  retort in this chamber.”

Cllr Crowe said that he would not be welcoming back Ms O'Doherty to the Council chamber.

Mr Casey has also been nominated by Kerry County Council.

He needs the support of two more councils if he is to get on the ballot paper.

Mr Casey has been travelling the country, appealing to councillors for their support.

This afternoon, Mr Casey said: “I am absolutely delighted to have Kerry as my first nomination.

"Kerry has always been a very special place for me with some of the best golf courses in the world.

"I am extremely grateful for Kerry County Council’s support and confidence and now look forward to securing the backing of three more councils".

Fellow 'Dragons' Seán Gallagher and Gavin Duffy have already sufficient local authority support to challenge President Michael D Higgins for Áras an Uachtaráin.

Mr Casey is to make his pitch to members of Limerick City and County Council tomorrow.

Separately President Michael D Higgins’ campaign website went online today.

It encourages visitors to sign up for a newsletter and “join the movement” to re-elect the incumbent president.

Mr Higgins has also reactivated a personal Twitter profile as the official account for the campaign.

His last tweet from the account was on November 11, 2011, the day of his inauguration.

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