Seán Gallagher, a Fianna Fáil member in the #aras11 race?

Having managed to mostly fly below the radar, it will be interesting to see if Seán Gallagher, now having shown well enough in the opinion polls, suddenly comes under tighter focus. On RTE, he finally put to bed some of the issues around his membership of Fianna Fáil today.

Well, actually, as it turns out, he didn’t, as David Cochrane, over at politics.ie, has adroitly pointed out. It seems that Gallagher’s resignation from the National Executive of Fianna Fáil was only in January this year (p.ie has a copy of the letter on-line) and nowhere does it suggest that he has left the party (indeed Cochrane helpfully provides links to the various Fianna Fáil election campaigns that he launched in February). Others claim he was pushed rather than left the National Executive.

That RTE link above reports that:

The statement says that Mr Gallagher joined the National Executive of Fianna Fáil in 2009 in a bid to advance his proposal for legislation to protect sub-contractors when developers went bust.

Other reports show that Gallagher’s attempt to influence legislation from within Fianna Fáil happens to coincide with  significant losses by his Smarthomes company (hard to believe that a builder would seek influence within Fianna Fáil). Incidentally, his period on the National Executive also coincides with the collapse of the Irish economy. In 2007, he had been director of elections for Seamus Kirk (who was elected as a FF TD for Louth). Indeed, his campaign was so highly regarded, Bertie Ahern is said to have claimed the credit. He was widely tipped to be a Fianna Fáil candidate in Louth in this year’s general election, back in February. Previously he has indicated that he was a member of the party since the 1980s.

With that CV, I’d imagine much of the media focus on Gallagher over the next while will question whether he is actually the Fianna Fáil candidate that they are claiming they haven’t fielded. If it turns out that he has never formally resigned from  Fianna Fáil, surely that will make him the  Fianna Fáil candidate?

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