Sunday 18 November 2018

Dublin City Council votes not to endorse any presidential candidate following 'outrageous' scenes

Presidential hopeful Norma Burke, aka Bunty Twuntingdon McFluff
Presidential hopeful Norma Burke, aka Bunty Twuntingdon McFluff

Ian Begley

Dublin City Council has decided not to endorse any candidate for the upcoming presidential election following bizarre and “outrageous” scenes at City Hall this afternoon.

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 eccentric 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 Aras into a luxury hotel, hunting lodge and spa.

Donning the alias ‘Bunty Twuntingdon-McFluff, she introduced herself to the council as a PR executive.

“As I’m new in town I thought it would be a super idea to run for president to get some free publicity for my business. 

“If I win, I’d cease trading for seven years, however I’d use that time to host people useful to my interests and make a lot of powerful contacts. 

“I propose to serve as the CEO of the newly created Aras hunting lodge and spa. I’d be in one room in the Aras 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 Aras”.

You might see me in the morning in my silk jim-jams eating my breakfast... Perhaps even touching myself if it gets good ratings.”

“We would cut all taxation and welfare spending that will lead to significant reduction in population, then you would burn the bodies of the dead for fossil fuels.”

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 that creating the nomination hoax was due to her belief that the majority of the other candidates were running for their own personal gain. 

Following the speeches from the six candidates, councillors were asked to vote on a motion brought by Fine Gael’s Kieran Binchy not to endorse any candidate.

Dublin resident Sarah-Louise Mulligan told the chamber that she would run as a pro-life candidate and would donate some of her salary to set up crisis pregnancy centres. 

Businessman Peter 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. 

Roscommon farmer John Groarke told councillors he is seeking a Republic where “everyone is equal” and believes the Irish Government could learn from the qualities of the Amish communities in the US.

Journalist Gemma O’Doherty pledged to serve the cause of “truth, justice and integrity” for the Irish people.

Councillors voted by 29 votes in favour of the motion, with nine against and two abstentions.

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