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Olympic hero Kenny Egan set for FG election run


 Boxer Kenny Egan. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Boxer Kenny Egan. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Boxer Kenny Egan. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Speaking to the Herald in Cork today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it was hugely positive for the party that potential candidates of the calibre of the Dublin-based boxer are now interested in representing FG.

"I think it is very positive. I think wherever we look around the country if we have one candidate who cannot stand for some reason next May we have six or eight people who want to step forward.

"Yes, I can confirm that the FG party are having discussions with Kenny Egan, an outstanding athlete and a great ambassador for Ireland in the boxing ring in his Olympic days.

"It is not concluded yet but the party is talking to Ken. But I think it is a very positive development," he said.

Mr Kenny said he felt potential candidates appreciated what the party has done to help rebuild Ireland's economy after the financial collapse of 2008/2009.

Given Egan's past addictions to alcohol, pornography and female escorts, senior Fine Gael party sources admitted that fielding the hero boxer represented a "gamble".

However, it's felt that Egan (32) would prove to be a popular candidate and open the party up to an influx of new and young members.

"I think it's worth the risk. He's a household name, it looks 95pc certain he will run," said a senior source.

However, his candidacy is sure to unnerve other party members who will be concerned about his zero experience in politics and his past addiction problems.

It was revealed earlier this week that Egan has rekindled his relationship with his first love Karen O'Sullivan. The couple split in 2008 after Mr Egan returned from the Olympics.

Asked whether he had a serious interest in politics, Egan said: "I've always been interested. There has been a lot of talk locally about me running but I've tried to keep a lid on it.

"I've held meetings now about potentially running for Fine Gael and I'll make that final decision shortly, but I have few more people to talk to."

If elected, Egan will serve on South Dublin County Council, which has been spared from Environment Minister Phil Hogan's local government reform plan.

Egan has spoken openly abut his addiction problems, which have been detailed in his autobiography, Kenny Egan: My Story.

The boxer revealed following his Olympic success, he was inundated with offers to turn professional, but turned them down because he was drinking so heavily at the time.

Speaking of his battle with drink, Egan revealed how he would go on week-long binges believing he had earned the right to celebrate.

"I said I was going to treat myself to a few pints, I felt it was my right, two years later I ended up in AA," he said last year.