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Wednesday 19 December 2018

'Many people believe it's in bad taste' - Presidential hopeful Gavin Duffy receives backlash over Fleadh posters

Posters of the Dragon’s Den businessman appeared around the town
Posters of the Dragon’s Den businessman appeared around the town
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Presidential hopeful Gavin Duffy has come under fire in his hometown of Drogheda for promoting a popular local music festival.

Posters of the Dragon’s Den businessman appeared around the town in the run up to the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann – a weeklong event which started today. 

The posters say go 'Cead Mile Failte go Droichead Atha', with the dates August 12 - 19 underneath.

But the move received criticism, with some locals accusing him of using the festival to fuel his election campaign. 

However, Mr Duffy has refuted these claims, saying he and his wife Orlaith have been involved with efforts to bring Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann to Drogheda for the "last seven years".

Local Cllr Kenneth Flood told Independent.ie that the move is an insult to the many volunteers who gave up their time to make Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann a success. 

“So many local community groups spent months getting the town ready for this week. The town is immaculate condition thanks to their efforts. 

“But they just can’t understand why Gavin Duffy has decided to do something like this, especially since he has nothing got to do with the festival. 

“Many people believe it’s in bad taste, while others are scratching their heads wondering who on earth this man is.”

In a statement to Independent.ie this evening, Mr Duffy said his posters "do not mention the election or reference the fleadh in any way. They simply say Cead Mile Failte go Droichead Atha from Gavin Duffy."

“I am seeking a nomination to contest the Presidential Election and I am very fortunate that over 400,000 people are coming to my home town, Drogheda," he said.

"My wife Orlaith and I have been involved in efforts to bring the Fleadh to my home town Drogheda for the last seven years and voluntarily prepared the bid team to pitch to the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann awarding committee.

"We liaised with the organising committee and informed them we are opening a campaign office during the Fleadh. It will serve complimentary teas and coffees up until 10pm every night. We learned from Ennis, which hosted last year’s Fleadh, that families visiting with children don’t necessarily want to go to pubs later in the evening and our office with complimentary teas, coffees and healthy soft drinks is an alternative."

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