Friday 21 September 2018

Outrage at pitch calling for Arás hunting spa, TV show and burning bodies for fuel

John Groarke at City Hall in Dublin yesterday. Photos: Gareth Chaney
John Groarke at City Hall in Dublin yesterday. Photos: Gareth Chaney
Sarah-Louise Mulligan Photos: Gareth Chaney
Norma Burke as ‘Bunty Twuntingdon-McFluff’ Photos: Gareth Chaney

Ian Begley

Proposals to hire out Áras an Uachtaráin as a hunting lodge and burning dead bodies sparked outrage at Dublin City Council.

The council ultimately decided not to endorse any candidate for the upcoming presidential election following "bizarre" and "outrageous" scenes at City Hall.

Six presidential hopefuls were invited to a special meeting of the council to deliver a five-minute pitch on why they should be nominated for the race. They included Sarah-Louise Mulligan, Peter Casey, Norma Burke, Gemma O'Doherty, John Groarke and Marie Goretti. However, it was Ms Burke's presentation that received the loudest reaction.

In the space of five minutes, the newest candidate in the race suggested burning dead people for fossil fuels and turning the Áras into a hunting lodge and spa.

Donning the alias 'Bunty Twuntingdon-McFluff', she introduced herself to the council as a PR executive. "I propose to serve as the CEO of the newly created Áras hunting lodge and spa. I'd be in one room in the Áras and the rest will be rented out as hotel rooms to wealthy guests who would pay top dollar to hunt deer in the Phoenix Park."

Ms Burke also suggested the possibly of creating a new reality television show to our screens called 'In Your Áras'.

"We will then cut all taxation and welfare spending which will lead to significant reduction in population, then you would burn the bodies of the dead for fossil fuels," she said.

Cllr Mannix Flynn then interrupted and told the chamber: "This is an absolute insult to the office of the president and for anyone else nominating themselves. This is not good for the other candidates... It's outrageous."

Later Ms Burke, who is a film maker and writer, told the Irish Independent of her belief that the majority of the other candidates were running for their own personal gain.

Meanwhile, Dublin resident Ms Mulligan said she would run as a pro-life candidate and would donate some of her salary to set up crisis pregnancy centres.

Businessman Mr Casey pledged to limit the presidential term to five years and wants to start a programme to bring Irish children living abroad to visit the country and embrace its culture.

Journalist Ms O'Doherty pledged to serve the cause of "truth, justice and integrity" for the Irish people.

Roscommon farmer Mr Groarke told councillors he is seeking a Republic where "everyone is equal".

Irish Independent

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