Monday 22 July 2019

Duffy's 'relief' as he joins fellow Dragon Gallagher on the Áras ballot paper

Gavin Duffy: Relieved to have crossed the line and humbled by support received. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Gavin Duffy: Relieved to have crossed the line and humbled by support received. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Conor Kane and Denise Calnan

Businessman and former 'Dragons' Den' judge Gavin Duffy has said he is "relieved" to have secured the endorsement of a fourth local authority, which allows him to take his place in next month's presidential election.

Mr Duffy, an independent candidate, was speaking after Waterford City and County Council voted to put him on the ballot paper, adding to endorsements from councils in Co Carlow, Co Wicklow and Co Meath.

Five hopefuls addressed the council in Dungarvan yesterday morning, including Seán Gallagher, who had already secured his nomination and asked members not to put him forward for another endorsement.

Four other candidates had spoken to the council when they met in July.

The only other candidate to be proposed and seconded in Co Waterford was journalist and campaigner Gemma O'Doherty, who was backed by independent councillors Sean Reinhardt and Joe Kelly.

Mr Duffy won the endorsement by 14 votes to two, with members from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour all supporting him. Sinn Féin's Cllr John Hearne abstained and there were some absentees.

Immediately after the vote, Mr Duffy said: "On one level I am so relieved to have crossed the line in achieving the nomination. I am also very humbled to get that support, from right across the chamber."

Earlier, the members were addressed by another former 'Dragon', Peter Casey, as well as Ms O'Doherty, Sarah Louise Mulligan and Newry-based businessman John O'Hare, who only entered the race on Thursday.

Ms O'Doherty told the councillors she was seeking a nomination, "in the furtherance of my desire to serve the cause of truth, justice and integrity for, and on behalf of, the Irish people".

Separately, a woman who presented a satirical presidential bid for the Áras race before Dublin City Council on Thursday has said she "had to take it to an outrageous level" to make her point.

Film-maker Norma Burke said she was protesting the quality of candidates presenting themselves for the 2018 presidential race.

Using the alias 'Bunty Twuntingdon McFluff', Ms Burke introduced herself to the council as a PR executive and "the PR brains behind the Brexit bus".

"I'm protesting against the quality of candidate. I was in the character of this woman who runs a PR firm and who has set up an office in Dublin post-Brexit," she said on RTÉ Radio One's 'Today with Seán O'Rourke'. The council ultimately decided not to endorse any candidate.

Irish Independent

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