Laois County Council reaches decision on Presidential candidates

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois County Council reaches decision on Presidential candidates

Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher and his wife Trish with Laois County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr John King and Fianna Fáil councillors.

Just three out of seven Presidential hopefuls turned up to Laois County Council on Monday September 17 to ask for nominations.

The council was holding a special meeting to hear out pitches from any candidates seeking nominations to be the President of Ireland.

One candidate, businessman Sean Gallagher, was nominated for votes last week, in order that he could be voted for nomination as a candidate on the day of the Portlaoise meeting. Rules decree that nominations must be given three days before councillors vote.

Mr Gallagher had been backed by the seven Fianna Fáil councillors.

However by the time the postponed meeting happened, Mr Gallagher had already won the four nominations he needed from other county council.

He came anyway, with his wife Trish, and encouraged councillors to nominate another candidate.

“If elected President I will be a president for all the people of this island who want me as president, and a friend to everyone else," he said.

He also announced that he would not be putting up any plastic election signs for the campaign.

"Ireland is changing, I believe Ireland needs a fresh approach. I am not seeking to be Michael D Higgin's replacement, I am seeking to be his successor," he said.

Next was Sarah Louise Mulligan, 36, a Dubliner dressed in green white and gold. She described herself as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, pro-life, anti elder abuse, and a supporter of US President Donald Trump.

“I like to see the positives in people, he is a good person stopping the slaughter of babies,” she said.

Ms Mulligan said she would give her wages to pregnant women in poverty to prevent abortion, and for houses for homeless.

“There would be no fear of me sleeping in €3,000 a night hotels, and no child would sleep in a Garda station during my presidency,” she said.

Candidate Gemma O'Doherty spoke last, and the journalist said she believes there is a “breakdown between politicians and citizens” because the public feel their rights were not upheld, including the right to housing and clean water.

“I want to give them hope. Our tiny population of €4.7m is small enough that we can fix things. We can't influence Brexit, we can't do anything about Trump, all we can do is focus on Ireland,” she said.

The no-show candidates were Marie Goretti Moylan, John Groarke, Peter Casey and Colin O'Dwyer.

Following the meeting, the Fianna Fáil group formally withdrew their nomination of Sean Gallagher because it was not needed.

No candidate was nominated by Laois County Council.