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

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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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  • Mark

    Was on politics when it was released ..first 100 or so replies put the boot in . Interesting to see how he handles this . He based his campaign on his honesty and integrity …

    Welcome to the Election Sean .

  • Alias

    It’s a bit like the old “sniff the Shinner” witch-hunts that used to go on at RTE when Eoghan Harris was running current affairs there. Except that the old FF’ers are the new Shinners, and the old Shinners are desperately trying to position as the new FF’ers.

    It’ll be damaging to transfers, certainly, if Gallagher was seen as trying to pull a fast one on the Irish public by concealing what appears to be a recent link to FF. Calling him a property developer linked to FF is very damaging, and designed to be.

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    To be honest I don’t see this damaging him, primarily because there is too much detail to explain. When you are explaining you’re loosing as they say. Gallagher appeals to a demographic that never had it so good and wants to turn the clock back a few years to their gap years in Oz and SE Asia. Sure we did nothing wrong, give us back our ASOS accounts and three holidays in Minorca every year, sure its what we deserve.

  • huntsman

    All this fuss over a non job. The two Marys managed to get a profile for the position by being different. The next President will see the job drop back to obscurity unless Martin McGuiness is elected. He would also only get noticed because he is different, a dodgy past.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good piece though John!

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    John, there seems to be a problem with the Smarthomes link.

  • John Ó Néill

    Cheers Nevin – its fixed now.

  • http://nabidana.com nabidana

    Such a non-story (but well worth covering) since I suspect everyone here has felt his ‘links’ were pretty strong to begin with. He’s a well known FFer, but he can’t do any harm in the Áras, if he gets there.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I get the impression that the Indo, having given up on poor Gay, is now trying to big him up as the “stop Michael D” candidate.

  • FuturePhysicist

    To be honest I don’t see this damaging him, primarily because there is too much detail to explain. When you are explaining you’re loosing as they say. Gallagher appeals to a demographic that never had it so good and wants to turn the clock back a few years to their gap years in Oz and SE Asia. Sure we did nothing wrong, give us back our ASOS accounts and three holidays in Minorca every year, sure its what we deserve.

    Ulick – 14% of young people don’t have jobs in the Republic, a lot more in part-time and under-qualified jobs, these stats are after emigration is taken into account. To say that this demographic never had it so good while assuming they all have the money of Peaches Geldolf is rather insulting and a strawman argument to dump more obstacles in the way of today’s youth.