Sunday 21 October 2018

Presidential hopeful's links with FF TD only revealed after questioning

Gavin Duffy (Niall Carson/PA)
Gavin Duffy (Niall Carson/PA)

Philip Ryan and Laura Larkin

Presidential hopeful Gavin Duffy only revealed details of his business relationship with a Fianna Fáil TD after he was questioned by the Irish Independent.

This newspaper sent queries to Mr Duffy about his business dealings with Louth TD Declan Breathnach on Wednesday.

The next morning, after receiving the queries but before the story was published, the 'Dragons' Den' star tweeted details of his relationship with Mr Breathnach.

Yesterday, the Irish Independent revealed Mr Duffy's company had been paid €9,600 by Mr Breathnach for communications services.

The businessman had provided the figure to the newspaper on Wednesday but did not mention it in his tweet.

Yesterday, the day the story was published, the businessman wrote on Twitter: "Following my tweet yesterday that Deputy Declan, a FF TD (who) is endorsing me, was a client the paper covers the story today." He included a photograph of the printed story.

It has also emerged he enlisted the help of a retired senior garda to ensure he is compliant with strict rules governing candidates.

Mr Duffy revealed the former head of the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation Detective Superintendent Eugene Gallagher will be responsible for ensuring he is compliant with the Standards in Public Office (Sipo) guidelines as his Sipo officer.

The former 'Dragons' Den' investor has said he believes people entering the race from a business background will face additional questions on their past and that he is happy to answer them.

Mr Duffy, who this week made his first public pitch in his bid to secure a nomination, said he has enlisted Mr Gallagher's help and the former garda and qualified barrister "will ensure all of the i's are dotted and t's crossed".

The businessman also told a meeting of Waterford City and County Council that if he secures a nomination he will produce a robust document outlining his business dealings in order for people to examine.

As well as being a businessman in his own right with a consultancy business and a background in media, Mr Duffy has invested in around 50 start-ups through his work on 'Dragons' Den'.

Irish Independent

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

Also in this section