Saturday 25 May 2019

Louth man Gavin Duffy has Council to himself

And then there was one.

Presidential election hopeful Gavin Duffy had the floor to himself when he pitched for a nomination from Louth county council.

Originally, he was among eight candidates seeking the nod from the local authority.

At the outset of last Wednesday's meeting in the council chamber, chairman Liam Reilly indicated apologies had been received from Peter Casey, John Groarke and Gemma O'Doherty.

And there was no show either from Joan Freeman, Marie Goretti Moylan, Sarah Louise Mulligan and Kevin Sharkey.

The plan was for each candidate to have ten minutes to address councillors before a Q&A session limited to no more than two questions each with one minute given to answer.

However, as things turned out there was plenty of latitude allowed after Mr Duffy stated his case and altogether he had the room for an hour.

Indeed, after speaking to his eleventh local authority, he said it was the longest Q&A session of the lot.

As a Drogheda man who went straight to work in Dundalk from school, the 58-year-old, understandably, made much of his Louth roots.

'It is very important to me that my county would nominate me,' he said.

The businessman and entrepreneur laid it on thick at times as he told the gathering, which included his wife and family, that he knew every inch of Louth, 'from Baltray to Faughart' and that he had swam off Dunany Point and climbed Mount Oriel.

He recalled managing Roche Emmets ('which may not have gone well') and taking a lady on a date to Carlingford, which did go well as he married her.

Nevertheless, it was an assured presentation by the Dragons' Den star.

And, it was no surprise that Duffy had to face a few curve balls when the questions came.

Who did you vote for in 2011? 'Seán Gallagher'.

Can you speak as Gaeilge? 'I'm rusty but the most competent of the 12 candidates.'

Will you do the job for nothing? 'I've no problem with the Government reducing the wage.'

Whether Gavin Duffy gets the opportunity to run for the job remains to be seen and he will have to wait until 17 September when Louth county council decides who, if anyone, it will be nominating.

Drogheda Independent