Monday 27 May 2019

Dragon says he has come amongst his own to ask for opportunity to put his case to people

Gavin Duffy said Michael D Higgins has served the country well but he should have served one term as promised.

'People want to have a choice in this election,' he told Louth county councillors in Dundalk.

He acknowledged the terms of office of Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese who knew there was a job the president could do 'beyond the strictures of the Constitution'.

'All my life I've worked with people to help them develop their talents.

'I'm basing my campaign on five key pillars, Youth, Older People, Diversity, Inclusion and Working Together.'

Gavin Duffy was reared above the family shop in Drogheda. He did not go to third level education, rather went straight from school to work in Dundalk.

'I have worked hard. I'm a husband and a father.

'I have come amongst my people this evening. I have the courage to do this. Give me the opportunity to put my case before the people of Louth.'

Replying to various questions from the floor, he said he has never been a member of a political party and is the only candidate personally funding his own campaign and has suspended his business in the meantime.

'There is nothing in my business background I would worry about.'

On the subject of business, he feels he can bring an extra dimension on inward investment, as Asia is now where funding is coming from.

'I know Hong Kong. I've done business in Shenzhen.'

Mr Duffy said he is very proud of founding LM FM which he did with the support of five people in Dundalk 'who backed a young lad of 28.'

Asked why he is only entering politics now, and going for the role of President, rather than start at a lower level, he said he dedicated himself to the private sector which helped accumulate tax revenue.

'I still feel I have the energy to do something. I could be seen as a little arrogant, I know, but I've the skills set to do it, something that's not written down in the CV.'

He said he has committed to a protocol of publishing the expenses of the Áras if in office. 'Not just the cost, but what value we are getting.'

Mr Duffy continued it is best if the president and taoiseach have a good working relationship.

As regards the diaspora and people in Northern Ireland being able to vote in a presidential election he said that's a Government decision to be made.

'We need to go beyond making nice noises about the diaspora.'

When his 'public spat' with the Green Party over the Ward Union Hunt in 2010 was brought up, he said he stood into the breach to defend the hunt because it holds the only indigenous herd of Irish red deer.

He said he is 'an equestrian person' and there is no way in the role of president he would be promoting or actively supporting blood sports.

As the range of topics raised diversified, Mr Duffy pointed out he is very conscious of the undocumented Irish.

If elected, he will be acknowledging the role of councillors, adding he is impressed with the amount of work councillors do.

Drogheda Independent