Local support strong for Gavin’s launch
DROGHEDA businessman Gavin Duffy officially launched his bid to be President of Ireland last Tuesday in Smithfield Business Park, Dublin.
The Bellewstown-based media training expert was flanked by his wife Orlaith Carmody and a host of supporters from Drogheda, including Paraic Kierans, Mark Markey, Caroline Kavanagh, Isobel San Roma and Alan Delaney, as well his brothers Eamon and Paraic, children and Aunt Peggy, as he pledged to be ‘Ambitious for Ireland’.
During an hour-long launch where the former RTE ‘Dragon’ delivered a lengthy address, before fielding some robust questions from national journalists, the candidate also said that he would hope to be used by the government in a post-Brexit diplomatic effort.
Describing his ‘particular skill set’ and ‘in-depth knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the major issues’, he said his knowledge of the ‘real world’ would be a distinct advantage.
‘I know the businesspeople and the players, so think I’m someone who has something to the contribute if the government would like to deploy a president with that type of knowledge. I believe we will have to go into a major diplomatic offensive from next April.’
Raised over a pub in West Street, Gavin said he loves Drogheda, and despite not getting an immediate nomination from Louth County Council, even though he was the only candidate to turn up to the meeting, he was enjoying a lot of support in his home counties.
‘I wasn’t disappointed with Louth County Council – I think it would be better for them if they had voted on the night of the meeting – but once the candidates knew they got four nominations, they didn’t go any further,’ he told the Drogheda Independent after the launch.
‘I feel a lot of support in Louth and East Meath, and I was conscious when we had the Fleadh of so much support and volunteers offering to help, and we have many well-wishers and supporters today.’
A former DJ and office manager with pirate radio station Boynside Radio and founder of LMFM, he said he was very proud of his record of compliance in his 30-year career.
‘I am saying here you will not find anything in my track record. I know in my business there never has been a tax issue, a bad debt issue, I have never been involved in litigation.
‘It’s not to say there have not been difficulties, I just don’t see litigation as a (route to take).’
Gavin and Orlaith have lived in Kilsharvan House, Bellewstown for 20 years, and have four children, Lorcan, Cormac, Cathal and Aislinn.
Dublin-born Orlaith is a successful businesswoman in her own right, and says she now treats Meath and neighbouring Drogheda as her home.
‘We live in a great community and Drogheda is now my home,’ she added.
‘We feel a groundswell of support in East Meath and Louth - the children went to school in Scoil Aonghusa and played sport here, and we are getting huge support from locals.’
In saying his business record was clean, Mr Duffy also referred to any questions that might relate to his personal life.
Turning to his wife during his launch speech he said: ‘A big consideration for us entering the race, was their anything in our personal lives that could embarrass our children? There is not.’
The future of young people in Ireland featured many time in his speech; among the key pillars of his campaign are a youth corps that will go to developing countries; a campaign against childhood obesity; embracing diversity; leading trade missions abroad; and stamping out cyberbullying.
Representatives from Ablevision, a Drogheda-based media production and training company for people with intellectual disabilities, attended, as Orlaith and Gavin have supported them since 2013.
Linda Duffy from SOSAD (no relation) added she was there today because Gavin had been a long-time supporter and with them the ‘whole way’.
‘I’m here because during the Fleadh we couldn’t get a permit to collect on the street, so he invited us into his office to do it,’ she said.
‘‘We rely on funding to keep the office open, and he has always been there to help.’
The Presidential elections will take place on Friday October 26th.
Gavin Duffy and his Drogheda crew at the launch
Gavin Duffy at his launch