Lo­cal sup­port strong for Gavin’s launch

Mid Louth Independent - - NEWS - By ALI­SON COMYN

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

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