Sean Gallagher’s Presidential bid went up in smoke last night on RTE’s ‘frontline’ with this one line; “If he gave me an envelope”… he was being pushed and heckled by other candidates & the audience on a cheque for €5k he supposedly received and those unfortunate choice of words just fed the monster in the room that was out to get him…
Sean Gallagher -v- Martin Mc Guinness
Gallagher himself immediately expressed his anger with himself after uttering those words as can be seen by his facial expressions here…
He was put under constant pressure from Martin McGuinness with one or two other candidates chipping away at him from a greater distance, both physically (McGuinness was standing beside him) and the manner in which they expressed themselves (McGuinness was cut throat & went in for the kill).
What i found strange was Gallagher’s body language when McGuinness was talking to him. McGuinness would look at Gallagher when asking questions and turn his body towards Gallagher. Gallagher on the other hand would not look at Guinness throughout, nor move his body in McGuinness’ general direction. However he would turn and look at Pat Kenny (presenter).
That can be seen in two ways;
1. Gallagher thought he was above McGuinness and wouldn’t stoop to his level by engaging in heated debate over nonsense.
2. Gallagher showed a complete lack of respect for McGuinness by basically ‘ignoring’ him in body language.
I haven’t been watching the other debates so i don’t know what went on before yesterday but to me, Gallagher came across as the latter. McGuinness however came across as much too aggressive and confrontational… it’s as if he enjoys confrontation and throwing stones at other people rather than focusing on anything positive he can offer himself. As a result i wrote him off straight away… it’s not a ‘nice’ type of aggressive, it’s a ruthless type of aggressive. As a taoiseach, that would be fine, that’s what we could do with. As a president? No.
Gallagher is a much more likeable character and that’s the reason he’s favourite to win. He’s the nice guy on Dragon’s Den, he’s a mini celebrity because of that show. However he side stepped the cheque question and it’s pretty clear he *did* receive a cheque for €5k but wanted to bury that matter and claimed he ‘couldn’t recall’ if he received it or not. At the time when he was receiving (or not receiving) this cheque he was a Fianna Fail member and under law, parties didn’t have to declare political donations under €5078.95. So this cheque was deliberately made out to aid Fianna Fáils books. What’s worse is the fact it came from a convicted criminal and fuel smuggler… Sean Gallagher’s own words. At the time however, he did not know this. So that makes it all ok.
If he was appearing on Dragon’s Den himself he’d a gonner because of his facts & figures and reluctance to be honest and upfront about it all. Reality is nobody gives a toss what way his accounts are, how much money he has or how poorly his companies are doing, provided it’s all above board and transparent. As the Dragon’s will often say, they invest mostly in people and not in businesses.
But if he deliberately tries to forget receiving cheques for €5k and accidentally puts €82k in to the wrong account & doesn’t notice immediately, well then something doesn’t quite add up there. He’s no Bill Gates and to my knowledge he’s never invested more than that figure (€82k) in to any Dragons Den business so i’m guessing €82k is a hell of a lot of cash to him. If that’s sitting in the wrong account for such a long period of time, i don’t buy into the fact it was a mistake or may have been a mistake. I’m out.
Gay Mitchell slammed Pat Kenny & RTE for the manner in which the show was put together and he was right. Gallagher in particular was singled out and set up last night by an idiotic audience cherry picked by RTE who were literally booing and hissing at times when Gallagher would say something semi-controversial. There should have been no supporters in that audience whatsoever. It should have been full of people who were actively following the election but were on the fence. However, Gallagher was slimey with his answers and for that reason alone i didn’t like him. When somebody asks you a yes / no question you give them a yes / no answer. If you want to talk drivel, talk drivel after you’ve given the yes / no answer, not before it because you’re just pissing everyone off by avoiding the question and speaking in riddles.
Norris comes with baggage too, but he’s probably the only candidate that could have a conversation with anyone in the country and not feel out of place. He has a way with words and speaks his mind, sometimes when he shouldn’t. Possibly my favourite candidate and a ‘curveball’ president i think the rest of the world would warm to or at the very least take notice of but probably a little too wacky & controversial for most people and doesn’t really stand a chance of winning.
Dana has played the victim too often for me. Family fueds? Nobody wants to know about it and nobody wants to hear about it. Only the papers do, because it’s a story. She took the bait and reacted to it which diverted all attention away from her actual campaign. The wheels came off for me when she assumed someone had slashed her campaign car tyres and put that down as the reason she had a blow out. This was a publicity stunt designed to get sympathy but i don’t think anyone bought it, especially when the gardai investigated and said there was no sign of any criminal damage to the car.
If she wanted to take advantage of the situation properly she should have got out, changed the tyre herself, got someone to take a candid picture of her on their phone, said nothing to the media for a few days, and then leak the photo to some paper. Then when questioned she could have said ‘oh yes, but these things happen, i didn’t think it was media worthy’. That’s how you maximise respect and sympathy, not accusing some member of the public of deliberately slashing your tyres and trying to kill you.
Michael D Higgins
The wizard guy. Another favourite and overall probably the most sensible / nice / drama-free president we could have. Definitely not as big a character as some of the others but a solid choice, safe hands. It depends what the people want… more of the same or someone with a little more spice and opinion. If the latter then Michael D isn’t the man.
Gay Mitchell? Who? Mary Davis? Who? Harsh but that’s how i see it. They’ve been invisible candidates throughout, overshadowed by much bigger characters and more glamorous names. Media aren’t interested in them which is probably a good thing because it means they’ve no hidden past or secret affiliations but whatever they have to say will never get heard simply because they don’t have the same celebrity status as the rest.
It’s all a media circus and doesn’t really matter at all
These televised political debates are interesting but where were they 10/15 years ago? The novelty of them is giving the media something to latch on to and follow like a world cup. Every few days you have stupid polls coming out saying ‘x’ is leading by 3% and suddenly roles are reversed a few days later… it doesn’t matter.
Much of what we’re hearing & reading including this post is simply just buying in to all the hype around what is basically a non event. Mary McAleese was probably the last President who’ll be respected and admired simply because she was around before the days of constant media scrutiny and political celebrity culture. If Gallagher gets in, the knives will be out as he’s a magnet for criticism… there are people who want to see him fail. The same can’t be said for Michael D Higgins, he’s older and much more respected as a person, possibly because of that age difference so for that reason, i’d imagine he’ll come out on top simply because Gallagher blew it last night.