Surprisingly perhaps, Seán Gallagher (Independent) is at 39% in an Opinion Poll. This has surprised many, not least because it is a massive jump on previous figures. Admittedly the Poll was conducted before last week’s third Presidentia Debate and frankly I thought Gallagher performed badly. Under persistent questioning about whether he had repaid a loan that a business had taken from a Bank, he stuck to the unconvincing mantra (I thought) that he had repaid “nearly all”.
Gallagher is standing as an Independent. He is a businessman and a panelist on RTEs “Dragons Den”……..a programme in which inventors and wannabee entrepeneurs pitch ideas at a group of millionaire business people who invest in some of the better ideas.
So effectively he is a millionaire TV celebrity businessman in the mould of Alan Sugar (Britain) and Donald Trump (United States).
As the discredited Fianna Fáil Party have not got a candidate in the field, Gallagher is perceived as their proxy candidate. He has been……to use his own term a “sporadic” member of Fianna Fáil and certainly Media attempts at branding him as the Fianna Fáil runner dont seem to have done him much harm.
He is certainly from the Fianna Fáil “gene pool” (ie people who would closely identify with Fianna Fáil without being a member). Yet I find that 39% poll rating hard to believe. As further testimony to the fact that Ireland is a much changed placed, Gallagher is actually a divorced (and re-married) man. And nobody…quite rightly…has mentioned it.