Sunday 18 February 2018

Father of the nation, but not President

It wasn't the scrutiny of his opinions or his finances that ended Gay Byrne's bid, but the potential dogfight ahead, writes Brendan O'Connor

SO sadly, the Gaybo-For-President dream is in tatters this weekend. A complex web of forces brought it all to an end, and nothing here is as obvious as it seems.

One could decide that, a bit like Norris, Gay was brought down by a media that fundamentally didn't like him. Whatever the media's feelings about Gay in general, on this occasion he was threatening to deny them the dogfight and the sure-fire space-filler that the presidential election had become.

It looked at the beginning -- which, unbelievably, was only last weekend -- as if Gay might be a shoo-in. He was topping polls where he hadn't even been included as a candidate, and the whole thing seemed like a lovely idea. But it was all too simple and too obvious for most people in the media, who also had a nose for blood after the Norris disgrace.

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