Dragon Casey re­veals di­ag­no­sis of se­ri­ous neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tion

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Gerry Hand news@mailon­sun­day.ie

DRAGONS’ Den pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Peter Casey has told the Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day he has a se­ri­ous ill­ness – but his cam­paign team have re­fused to throw any fur­ther light on the topic.

Mr Casey, 61, ex­plained to the MoS this week that although he has yet to se­cure a nom­i­na­tion from a coun­cil, this is partly down to com­ing late to the con­test due to a di­ag­no­sis of Guil­lain-Barré syn­drome.

The neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­ease, which is both se­ri­ous and rare, can be ex­tremely de­bil­li­tat­ing and af­fect mo­bil­ity.

‘The oth­ers have had an ad­van­tage on me as I was late start­ing due to be­ing se­ri­ously ill,’ he said.

‘Only a few weeks ago I was di­ag­nosed with E Coli and Guil­lainBarré dis­ease.

‘I ended up in an iso­la­tion ward in Pied­mont hospi­tal in At­lanta for eight days.’

When later asked to elab­o­rate about Mr Casey’s prog­no­sis, and whether his mo­bil­ity has been com­pro­mised, his spokes­woman would only say: ‘I have seen the ques­tions. If I can get you the in­for­ma­tion, I will.

‘If you don’t hear from me, I can’t get it.’

The is­sue of can­di­dates’ health has been raised pre­vi­ously in the cur­rent nom­i­na­tion sea­son, due to the age of the in­cum­bent.

One Fine Gael min­is­ter warned about Pres­i­dent Michael D Hig­gins’s ablil­ity to func­tion ef­fec­tively as an 84-year-old Pres­i­dent.

‘He is fine now, but seven years is a long time,’ they told the MoS in Au­gust.

The is­sue of ca­pac­ity was also raised by then-po­ten­tial pres­i­den­tial con­tender Pádraig Ó Céidigh, who said some form of health check should be re­quired for can­di­dates.

‘It should con­firm the ca­pac­ity or other­wise of can­di­dates,’ he said.

Mr Ó Céidigh has since ruled him­self out of seek­ing a nom­i­na­tion for the Oc­to­ber elec­tion.

This week Se­na­tor Joan Free­man, and Dragons’ Den stars Seán Gal­lagher and Gavin Duffy se­cured their spot on the pres­i­den­tial bal­lot pa­per.

Sinn Féin are ex­pected to con­firm Li­adh Ní Ri­ada – the daugh­ter of com­poser Seán Ó Ri­ada – as their can­di­date to­day.

Mr Casey – who is cur­rently based in At­lanta, Georgia – is still hope­ful he will get into the pres­i­den­tial race.

‘I still be­lieve I will get on the bal­lot pa­per. The last coun­cil to vote is Done­gal and I have a base there, so it could come down to that one.’

He added: ‘I think coun­cil­lors are now wak­ing up to the re­al­i­sa­tion of the power they have.’

* This is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a likely bal­lot pa­per. It in­cludes those who have been nom­i­nated by the coun­cils so far, the Pres­i­dent who can nom­i­nate him­self, and the most likely Sinn Féin can­di­date. Other hope­fuls may still make their way on to the bal­lot pa­per.

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