For Gal­lagher

New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

In re­la­tion to a ques­tion from Cllr Johnny Mythen about the North of Ire­land and re­uni­fi­ca­tion, he re­marked: ‘I am of the bor­der coun­ties and I gen­uinely be­lieve that we’ll see a United Ire­land in my life­time. But it will start with a uni­fi­ca­tion of hearts and trust.’

When asked by Cllr John He­garty, who re­ferred to the late de­ci­sion to run on this oc­ca­sions, what he had been do­ing for the past seven years since the last elec­tion, Mr Gal­lagher ex­plained that the elec­tion had been gru­elling and he had taken time to re­cover from it. He said he had not taken lightly the de­ci­sion to chal­lenge RTE on the Front Line de­bate is­sue and said that that process had taken six years. He added that he did not be­lieve in fail­ure, but feed­back which he had re­ceived plenty of.

He had, he said, be­come a fa­ther over the past seven years, set up a busi­ness of­fer­ing workspaces to com­pa­nies, largely out­side of Dublin, and started writ­ing a col­umn pro­fil­ing en­trepreneurs and their achieve­ments.

He said be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur or, for that mat­ter, be­ing the Pres­i­dent, was not about mak­ing money but about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

He also agreed with Cllr Tony Dempsey on the no­tion of tack­ling cy­ber crime through new laws but he said that tech­nol­ogy was de­vel­op­ing so quickly that it was hard to keep up. He felt that ac­tion was be­gin­ning to be taken on the is­sue, re­markng that some­times it could only hap­pen af­ter dam­age had been done.

Cllr Ger Carthy, of­fer­ing his support to Mr Gal­lagher re­marked on the 20,000 votes the former Dragon’s Den judge had se­cured in the 2011 elec­tion, say­ing he was hope­ful that peo­ple would support his nom­i­na­tion of him.

Fi­nally, ac­tress Sarah Louise Mulligan spoke of how she wanted to be a Pres­i­dent who would cel­e­brate Ir­ish peo­ple, and mend peo­ple’s bro­ken hearts and souls with words and ac­tions.

The self-con­fessed Don­ald Trump fan said she had a keen in­ter­est in is­sues sur­round­ing child and el­der abuse, sui­cide, home­less­ness, preg­nancy and pro-life mat­ters.

In the area of men­tal health, she re­ferred to a case of an 11-year-old child who had an­nounced their in­ten­tion to com­mit sui­cide on a so­cial me­dia ac­count. She pledged to use the same plat­form to share videos that would help those feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble. She also felt that not enough was be­ing done about the is­sue of el­der abuse, some­thing she had writ­ten her col­lege the­sis on.

She pro­claimed to be ‘pro­life and proud’, say­ing that she would hap­pily do­nate some of her Pres­i­den­tial salary for the set­ting up of cri­sis preg­nancy cen­tres.

She added that she would have a big prob­lem with sign­ing off on leg­is­la­tion to re­move the Eighth Amend­ment, re­mark­ing that she and the Taoiseach would be ‘at log­ger­heads’ over it.

She said she ad­mired Don­ald Trump for his pro-life stance and for a lot of his poli­cies, say­ing she wanted Ire­land to be a place where peo­ple could speak their mind freely, adding that she would like to see more healthy de­bate on is­sues.

Cllr Davy Hynes re­ferred to her ad­mi­ra­tion for Trump, re­mark­ing that any­one could make a mis­take! He ac­knowl­edged that she had spo­ken about the abuse of peo­ple but said he could not rec­on­cile those con­cerns with her support for some­one who he saw to be a cul­prit of that.

‘You men­tioned free speech but there is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween that and hate speech,’ he pointed out.

Cllr Paddy Ka­vanagh wished Ms Mulligan well in her en­deav­ours, point­ing out that Peter Casey, an­other can­di­date, had re­marked that he would fil­ter his salary back to coun­cils who had backed him through their chair­man. He joked that coun­cil chair­man Keith Doyle was sin­gle and would gladly wel­come a move to Aras an Uachtarán!

Sen­a­tor Joan Free­man at Wex­ford County Coun­cil HQ. Sarah Louise Mulligan at Wex­ford County Coun­cil.

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