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Independent candidate Davis defends State earnings

MARY Davis says that figures regarding her earnings from State boards are "transparent".

The Independent candidate claimed that revelations about her earnings from boards she was appointed to by Fianna Fail governments have not damaged her campaign.

The chief executive of Special Olympics Ireland has moved to distance herself from any association with Fianna Fail and insisted she was "totally independent".

"All that information is detailed in the annual reports of those boards but what concerns me more is the suggestion of the link with Fianna Fail which is absolutely and totally untrue," Ms Davis said.

It was revealed she had been paid almost €190,000 by State agencies on top of her €156,000-a-year salary as managing director of the Special Olympics.

Gallagher in jobless fight

INDEPENDENT candidate Sean Gallagher said his experience of being on the dole twice had driven his desire to help the jobless.

He was accompanied by his wife Trish and his blue T-shirted supporters as he launched his campaign.

He made getting almost 500,000 unemployed people back to work a key theme of his campaign.

"I remember the challenge that I had to retain confidence. Not having a job, status and identity. Not having money in order to socialise. Today almost half-a-million are in the same boat," he said.