After all they did, are FF set to win #aras11?

After all they did, are Fianna Fáil going to win the Presidential election? Or, perhaps as pertinently, are the media going to win it for them? While Mick suggests that they are right to protest that Gallagher is not their ‘dog without a collar’, the limited ability of the media to amass any significant details of Gallagher’s Fianna Fáil CV is in contrast to the detail being presented on the other candidates (with the obvious exception of Michael D).

Gallagher has yet to make a convincing case that he has actually left Fianna Fáil and has claimed that his membership was sporadic. He is not a politician apparently.

Unfortunately Gallagher’s fellow Dragon Gavin Duffy penned a brief portrait of Gallagher in the Sunday Independent a couple of years ago. This includes the following:

Sean Gallagher of Smart Homes, who is a very smart person himself, has become a very good friend. But Sean, having spent years working in Fianna Fail , is as much a politician as he is a very successful businessman.

Gallagher himself penned a longer piece which appeared in 2008 in both the Sunday Business Post (April 27th, 2008 if you can get past a paywall) and a book called That’ll Never Work, published by KPMG. The following are Gallagher’s own references to politics (all prior to his 2009 appointment to the FF National Executive):

The first of the five ambitions I wrote into the life plan came from the fact that I’d always liked agriculture and the outdoor life. I liked physical hard work. ”I want to be a farmer,” I wrote. ”That’s number one.” Secondly, I’d been working in youth clubs. ”I want to be in youth work,” I wrote next. ”Particularly, with people who’ve come through their own personal challenges.” The third pillar was that, because I liked sport, I wanted to be a martial artist. The fourth was that, arising out of my interest in youth work, I wanted to be in politics. The last thing was that I wanted to start my own business.


Then Dr Rory O’Hanlon, the Fianna Fail TD and minister for health at that time, asked me to become his political secretary, so I spent a couple of years working in the Dail. I built up a good network of contacts in departments, and other ministers started to ring me to get things done. The first people I spoke to when I went into a government department were the guys at the gate. Why? Because they were the guys who opened up in the morning and shut the place down at night, and you had to get in and out.

The people in the restaurant deserved exactly the same respect as a department secretary general or a minister. The more you do for people just because it’s the right thing to do, not out of any cute hoorism the better network you have and the better your chances that they’d help you out if you were in difficulty. The political pendulum has swung to such a degree in the intervening years that if you do a favour for someone it’s assumed there’s something sleazy behind it. That’s unfair.

If you think about it, good business is all about relationships. Business people and customers don’t buy from businesses. They buy from people. Companies don’t start businesses. Individuals do. It’s all about personal relationships, rapport and motivation. In business, as in politics, it’s all about relationshipbuilding.

I was passionate about politics and it was an electric time. Politics has its downsides, as I was soon to learn. The insecurity, the precariousness of political life hit home when Albert Reynolds took over as Fianna Fail leader and did an Andrews Liver Salts’ purge of his cabinet.

O’Hanlon was to lose his post and so was I. Within hours, we were gone and some new lessons were learned. I went for a short time into Fianna Fail headquarters, but I missed the cut and thrust and the buzz of the front line.

Then Noel Dempsey, TD, asked me to come up with a plan for the reorganisation of county councillors. I was due to start on the Monday. I had my desk picked out and all. It was a job that I knew I would love and one that I believed needed to be done.


The 2007 general election in Louth was fiercely-contested. The biggest challenge for Fianna Fail was to secure the re-election of its party chairman, Seamus Kirk, a man with 25 years’ experience as a TD. With a lot left to contribute, he had been written off by the opposition, by most political commentators and even some in Fianna Fail itself.

I was asked, and accepted the challenge, to direct his election campaign. For six months we planned, organised and all but choreographed his campaign, resulting in him, not only, not losing his seat, but actually topping the poll with more than 10,000 first preference votes an increase of some 54 per cent on the 2002 election result. It summed up politics for me: a good candidate, a strong team and an intelligent electorate. Reflecting on the result, it appears that our business is no different: we have a good product, we have built a strong team to deliver it and we have, increasingly, better-educated and informed customers.

Gallagher has been allowed make repeated claims to be primarily interested in youth work, which he did for a couple of years, yet not dismissed for the pretence that he is not lifetime FF politician.

The 2011 presidential election has all been about the media, rather than the candidates. And it appears, given the relative easy ride given to their candidates over the other four candidates, that the media can only really tolerate candidates from Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil.

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  • Mick Fealty

    How are you defining politician John?

  • HeinzGuderian

    It’s not the medias fault that mertin can’t keep his temper.

  • John Ó Néill

    Hmmm, Mick – are you suggesting Gallagher hasn’t been involved in politics?

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely Gallaghers rise in the polls is related to ABM sentiment (anybody but Martin,keep up).

    The thrust of the post above however seems to be to demonstrate that Gallagher has formal political links yet a political orientation.seems to have been put to advantage by Mary McAleece. I am not at all concerned by a politcal past but skeletons in cupboard do concern me.Come to think of it – most of us with the kind of skeletons MMG has in his cupboard would not risk running for President.Cant blame the media when there is so much to hide.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Seems to me that the shinner cheerleaders are desperately trying to find someone to blame for this farce.
    I would not be at all surprised if the sacred name of ‘The Brits’ is invoked very shortly !! 😉

  • “He is not a politician apparently.”

    John, Sean has provided a summary of his political activities on his website. Why didn’t you link to it? Your quotations put a little additional flesh on those bones. They create the impression that he has been quite an effective, successful political organiser for FF when he hasn’t been doing his other day jobs.

  • “kind of skeletons MMG has in his cupboard would not risk running for President”

    Granni Trixie, it’s likely that the immunity and support provided for ‘good’ paramilitaries by London and Dublin ‘nimbyism’ (and often acquiesced to by the MSM) for their Northern Ireland activities doesn’t extend to the rest of these islands. The hospitality extended beyond NI may be warm but it’s conditional on it being temporary. A day trip to the Aras or a round of golf is one thing, taking up residence in the Aras is another.

  • “cheerleaders”

    HG, apologists for any political and/or paramilitary organisation here on Slugger are likely to get a rough ride; it’s a thankless task.

  • HeinzGuderian

    And so it should be Nevin.

  • Mary Anna

    MMG is the joker out out of all seven , He would say anything for a vote and he would sell his grannie for power and control! He is a great story teller , as he makes it up as he goes along. He could lie for Ireland, Scotland ,wales – England! Don’t for get your past because i won’t , marty we don’t believe a word that comes out of your arse. 3059 murdered… This will not go away ye know.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Mary Anna. Well said! Murder and violence, particularly political murder and violence, always begin and end with lies – because they destroy the things they purport to defend or promote – namely justice and freedom. It would be disappointing if substantial numbers of the Southern electorate endorse any candidature based, or even partly based, on that false position.

    However , there is some mitigation, as well as guilt, for the Northern electorate, where entrenched ‘them and us’ tribal attitudes come into play – but these too derives mainly from sectarianism and racism i.e. anti-Unionist and anti-British attitudes (agin the ‘West Brits’, as MCG puts it).

  • Mitchell queries Gallagher role – and questions value of these presidential polls:

    “I don’t want to rubbish the people who took the poll. I’m sure they are findings they got but you have to compare it with the same situation in the last presidential election when the front runner on 38 per cent ended up with less than 7 per cent,” [Mitchell] said.

    Perhaps it’s still all very much to play for.

  • SimonLong

    MMG said (in English) during the TG4 debate that he would learn more Irish if he was elected President.

    So his stance on the Irish language is electorally-conditional.

    Of course, if he’d spent more years behind bars like his erstwhile comrades he’d have had the time to attend Irish classes. 😉

  • Coll Ciotach

    One problem for SF is were are the voters who did not p eviously support SF to come from?

    To me SF need to compete for the urban “working class” and the more traditional republican voter both urban and rural. And that is not as easy as some imagine. This means that they are fighting on two fronts. Hard to do without inconsistencies arising.

    Which takes me to Mr S Gallagher. He is holding the FF vote. SF are by and large not eating in to it. If he was not in the race perhaps SF would hoover up the more republican traditionalists. In fact I am certain they would. As well as that Gallagher does have support from across the political landscape, from what would be looked on as natural FG and Labour supporters. Again, and I refer to the Labour vote, denying SF a free run.

    SG is just as able a dealer as MMcG. He knows what to say and when to say it.

    In short SF have been scuppered this time by Mr SG. A man who can play the game of vote winning as well as they. Indeed SG learned from the masters, SF have still a long way to go to reach that standard.

    However Martin is clearing the way for the next time. He is absorbing the abuse for lesser candidates in the future. The opprobrium fired at him has a limited shelf life and even shorter capacity for damage. After a few more years it will be irrelevant and passé.

    It is a long war, and both FF and SF know it. Both are, for different reasons, strategising for the next run.

    That is when the real gladitorial battle for supremacy of Irish republicanism will happen. If SF cannot get strong enough before then to challenge FF as equals or near equals then perhaps all they have done is the political equivalent of Pearl Harbour. If they have awakened the sleeping giant I would expect FF to take the fight to SF.

    Then the fun really begins – on a whole number of levels.

  • DoppiaVu

    Of course it’s John O’Neill’s last paragraph that reveals what his piece is actually all about:

    “The 2011 presidential election has all been about the media, rather than the candidates. And it appears, given the relative easy ride given to their candidates over the other four candidates, that the media can only really tolerate candidates from Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil.”

    For all that John O’Neill pretends that this is about meeja bias, in reality it’s just the usual sad republican bleating you get when people actually confront SF.

    Take a look over at Irish Central. O’Dowd attempting to spin exactly the same line (albeit with less subtlety).

    The reality is that Coco’s candidacy has, not surprisingly, attracted much media attention. Some of it good, some of it bad. The media will always be attracted to the potentially interesting story – and Marty is it. Thus less media attention on the other candidates.

    When Coco was apparently riding high in the opinion polls, all we heard about was what great strategists SF were. Seems they hadn’t thought this one through.

  • Alias

    “However Martin is clearing the way for the next time. He is absorbing the abuse for lesser candidates in the future. The opprobrium fired at him has a limited shelf life and even shorter capacity for damage. After a few more years it will be irrelevant and passé.”

    The ‘martyr for mayhem’ spiel that sees wee Marty crucified for the sins of orangekind but who will arise from the dead and win the war after losing the battle…

    In reality, the Shinners sectarian murder campaign will still be seen as amoral and illegitimate 10 years from now, and that judgement isn’t conditional on whimsical moods but on constants such as decency, knowing the difference between right and wrong, and the rule of law.

    The Shinners are essentially a blood cult with the comrades at the top of it all PIRA godfathers and protected touts. So while the real lesson of Marty’s impending humiliation is the party’s need to rid itself of its toxic leadership, that lesson defeats the actual purpose of the cult and, of course, presupposes that a coup is even remotely possible against the godfathers.

    The future for the Shinners is containment within Northern Ireland until the godfathers tire of pushing their zimmers into Stormont and retire to Donegal or the Lords…

  • John Ó Néill

    @DoppiaVu – surely Norris may be most unhappy at how this has played?

  • SimonLong
  • DoppiaVu

    John – well he’s hardly going to be pleased. But it backs up my point that he got all the media attention because he was the most interesting story at the time.

    Note that when the revelations about Norris emerged, there were no complaints from Republicans (or any other group) about the media probing into Norris’s background.

    And when Marty was successfully managing the media and riding high in the opinion polls, Republicans were more than delighted that their man was getting all the publicity (at everyone else’s expense).

    However, now that Marty seems to be facing a bit of a media backlash of sorts, Republicans are complaining about the attention he is receiving under the guise of some wider complaint about the media generally.

    Marty chose to ride the tiger. Let’s see if he can manage to dismount without getting savaged.

  • John Ó Néill

    DoppiaVu – you can stand that analysis on its head – Norris was riding the opinion polls as the independent alternate to the political mainstream. Gallagher was promoted in a similar light just as Norris hit some white water. What was missing was that the very media people who know Gallagher’s background didn’t present him as coming from FF, but rather as an independent. Now that people are detailing his CV this is being presented as some sort of backlash, yet most of the journos who have been narrating the election seem loathe to consider it or, what would be more damaging to Gallagher, provide some speculation as to how FF may draw some solace from it (and maybe even, post hoc, claim credit). It seems that they are defaulting back to where they were prior to the bailout.

    For what it’s worth, SF must have gamed this and considered how McGuinness would be played – after all this is largely a re-run of Gerry Adams campaign in Louth. Judging by the generally commentary, I’ve not seen any indication that a SF candidate (I’ve pointed out elsewhere that I’d have been conservative and run de Brun) would have received the same handling from the press regardless of their personal history.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry John. That was a long time ago. No I wasn’t suggesting that. But I know a lot of political activist I would not consider politicians. Even people I would consider to have been former politians even whilst they remain activists. Mairtin O M for instance.

    What’s your sense of the weight of SG’s FF baggage? Price still to pay, or already priced in?

  • Mary Anna


    I hear increasingly from the particpants on both sides, of the troubles ,war and conflict, that we all must put the past behind us move on and draw a line in the sand. I believe that it is easier for those that doled out the pain and misery, but harder for those that suffered , as many lived with the pain of the past on a daily basis. People need to know (WHY) my son, my father, my sister, my mother, my daughter; what made them targets??? what was the decision process, who decided what and when to move on? who carried out the act of violence in the name of a fuitle wasted caused! My question is to MCG did you ever authorise an operation or action that resulted in the injury or death of someone?

    There is a need for truth commission, where state forces, Republican IRA and loyalist tell their stories. What made them make decisions that they could just take a life. This is not to punish but to explain to the victims – WHY, what needs to happen and get those involed and to take responsibility and made accountability for their actions, and consider their past action. I believe this would also help the young and the impressionable who may be drawn into further troubles, war , conflict , just to to realise that it is not patriotic or romantic to engage in a grubby little dirty war -let us never for get the evils of the past

    Injured -47541 people.
    shootings -37000.
    Armed Robberys -22000
    Bombings – 16000 – 80 children murdered by the so called freedom fighters.
    644 civillens murdered by the so called freedom fighters. Total –
    2059 murdered by the IRA the freedom fighters.

    Loyalist murdered 1019
    The State murdered 369 people.
    Irish State murdered 5 people.
    Unknown murders 82.
    All for a useless cause this is why MMG wants everyone to move on, to move on into the furture, well I am telling you Martin you are out of order and you are in heavy denial and shame on you to tell David kelly “.That was 30 years ago”

  • John Ó Néill

    Only a small percentage of any political party actually run in elections – Gallaghers stated history of involvement with FF includes being in Ogra in the 1980s, being a political advisor to a minister plus various other roles through the 1990s including FF HQ, director of elections for Kirk in Louth by 2007, being on the National Executive for a couple of years until recently. His statements about his current opinions and status within FF have been through gritted teeth and no-one from FF has come out to claim with any conviction that he ever left the party – in fact, Gallagher’s own claims specified that he was referring to leaving the National Executive, not that he had left the party. According to various claims on he launched up to 10 electoral campaigns for TDs in February this year (after that resignation) at least four of which were backed up by newspaper reports. He has almost 30 years of involvement with FF at a senior level.

    He is a party insider and it’s splitting hairs over whether that makes him a politician or not.

    As to whether there is a weight to the baggage – a lot comes down to the press this weekend – if Labour have tugged enough elbows he will get a hammering (FG will hope Mitchell at least gets to double figures on the day, too). I’ve not seen a more recent poll, though, that might shape the emphasis of the last week of campaigning yet. Given how jumpy the numbers were, there seems to have been a lot of reaction to individual episodes.

    The tenor of the election has been so sour, though, that you could barely see the winner wanting to look at themselves in the mirror of the Aras bathroom.

  • Alias

    “What was missing was that the very media people who know Gallagher’s background didn’t present him as coming from FF, but rather as an independent.”

    Probably because he is standing as an independent and is funding his own campaign accordingly. But if you have any evidence that he is a FF candidate – such as organisational support, funding, nomination, etc, from FF – then you should get yourself a scoop and produce it.

    Otherwise he is actually what he says on the tin: an independent.

  • Seán Gallagher was a member of Ógra Fianna Fáil and then Fianna Fáil proper from the mid-1980s onwards, yet he has been, at best, “ambiguous” about his record with the party, presenting conflicting accounts of his time in it. He was a member of his local FF cumann (branch) in Louth until at least March 2010 when he said he quit (but no proof has been forthcoming of his resignation from the cumann). We know he was an active party worker, directing the electoral campaign of a local FF TD in 2007, and a regular guest at FF functions across the country for a decade (including in Belfast).

    He has now admitted that he didn’t formally resign from the Ard Comhairle (leadership) of FF until January 2011 (despite claiming he was not a party member since Mar 2010). Yet in February 2011 he was campaigning with Fianna Fáil candidates in several constituencies around the country.

    Most people that I have spoken to have one conclusion: Vote Seán Gallagher, Get Fianna Fáil.

  • Mary Anna

    “This Must Never Be Allowed To Happen Again”

    A young man, David Kelly, from the Republic of Ireland had the guts to come out and speak out against the injustice that was inflicted upon him. He confronted Martin McGuinness about the murder of his father, Patrick Kelly. His father was a 35 year old private in the Irish Army who was killed by the IRA when he and others tried to rescue businessman Don Tidey who had been kidnapped by the IRA. Private Kelly was gunned down along with Garda Gary Sheenan in the rescue attempt in Co. Leitrim in 1983.
    The question is why are there not more David Kellys in Northern Ireland ? – people who are willing to confront the people and organisations responsible for their loss and pain. Perhaps there is a clue in McGuinness’s response to Mr Kelly – “that was 30 years ago”. In Northern Ireland, people are being constantly told to move on and draw a line in the sand by the very same people that perpetuated the violence and hatred. Bringing up the past is looked upon as somehow being against the peace process – it is not – it is merely victims and victims families looking for the truth of what happened to their loved ones and for those that inflicted that pain to face up to their responsibilities.

    Before history gets rewritten let us remind ourselves of just how many victims there were. In our conflict between 1969 and 2001 a total of 3526 were killed and those organisations responsible are listed below.

    Responsibility for killing[125]

    Responsible party No.
    Republican paramilitary groups 2057
    Loyalist paramilitary groups 1019
    British security forces 363
    Persons unknown 82
    Irish security forces 5
    Total 3526

    Now back to David Kelly and the lack of people like David Kelly in Northern Ireland. We in the North have been brow beaten and bullied into keeping quiet – exhausted from a dirty war and only too glad that there is some semblance of peace – the majority think it better to keep quiet and allow the perpetrators to rewrite history. A recent example of this type of bullying was when Martin McGuinness threatened to reveal secrets about Frank Hegarty that would embarrass the Hegarty family. Frank Hegarty was the MI5 agent that McGuinness was alleged to have lured back to his death in Derry.
    There has been much talk – well that is not entirely correct – some talk about the need for a truth commission. In my opinion this is just a smoke screen and a device for those who inflicted the pain to avoid facing up to the pain they caused – they don’t expect a truth commission or its terms of reference to ever be agreed but can deal with embarrassing questions by pronouncing their support for a commission. The nearest we had to a truth commission was the Bloody Sunday Enquiry and even then we never got the full truth – the Ministry of Defence stalled and obstructed the enquiry whenever they could and the IRA, in the form of Martin McGuinness, refused to tell all citing IRA confidentiality.
    I believe that if victims want truth and justice then they have to demand it because the vested interests in Stormont and Westminster are only concerned with self interest and self interest excludes truth and justice. There is a risk that victims will become forgotten and the reality of the conflict blurred and romanticised – increasing the risk that the denial of the past will doom us to repeat it. Take a look at the new young recruits to the UVF or dissident Republicans who are too young to have ever experienced the nastiness and heart break of troubles but are intent in reproducing them – romantic notions of being heroes for Ulster or Ireland.
    That is why victims have to take things into their own hands and confront those now in power and responsible for the pain.
    I believe that it would be a very powerful thing to do if relatives of those killed in the conflict, come together, each with a picture of their murdered love one and display them on mass.
    We have an, early, excellent opportunity presently, with the race to be President of Ireland. Martin McGuinness brought the northern aspect to it . The majority of the population in the Republic have no real idea as to what it was like to live through the troubles and the real consequences of it.
    The sight of so many of the victims from the troubles, in one place, with photographs of their loved ones, will bring home the enormity of the loss and pain, and shame the politicians into doing sometime meaningful about truth and justice.
    Families can take back their lives by standing up for their dead. Take our campaign to Stormont, Westminster and the Dail bring a picture of a loved one. Never forget the damage that has been done by a futile war. We do not need to forget or draw a line in the sand, what is needed is convictions, justice, and then true peace will follow. If we do not make a stand now, then we teaching the next generation it is ok to take a life and to hurt and harm because no one will ever be held accountable.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Otherwise he is actually what he says on the tin: an independent.”

    Except that according to the one description he’s a go-to guy for the party and the other reality is that he was CEO of the one subcontracting firm that concerned itself with real property development. And so he is certainly not independent in the sense that he’s the poster boy for failed state, on both party and personal levels. The poster with him on it is one of those that is extra-dimensional, as it were, and so change your viewing angle and he goes from party hack to failed developer, all on the one poster. That he tops the poll only goes to show that some haven’t learned a damn thing from run-up and meltdown.

    By the way, managed to painfully watch the one RTE debate. Ole Baldy ought to be down in the dregs with Dana and Charity Wife (as I call her). Sad day for dear ole Eire when the likes of me would prefer the doddering ole fool or the soul most likely to found in the shower signing Tom Robinson’s Glad To Be Gay (and since there’s two “gay” in the race that makes three over Ole Baldy).

    The reality is simply surreal. Dear ole Eire’s putative representative to the world, the failed subcontractor with significant ties to party that presided over failed state. You just couldn’t make it up.

    Lastly, the New Ross Standard published some piece by a Gavin Duffy, lauding Ole Baldy and calling him an “enterprise mentor”. Apparently, “enterprise mentor” is the new description for:

    “Sean Gallagher, as you said, got seed capital for his business from the State.Then he re-registered that business, that company under a different name and he transferred all of the benefits that had accrued, thanks to the State investment, to a new limited liability company.

    But the debt was left with the first company and he said, acting on advice, because, that company was no longer trading, he believed that he was absolved of any responsibility to pay the State back.

    But the business that had got the benefit of the State’s investments, research, development and learning and so on, went on to become a multi-million euro success. Now he did, it’s important to state, eventually pay back most of the debt to Louth County Enterprise Board but only after three years of legal dispute.
    ”It was called Home Wiring Systems. Essentially the business idea was to put all the wiring you’re ever going need for your computer, your TV, your stereo and so on behind the wall panelling, behind your skirting boards, so you don’t have to go punching holes in the wall to put stuff in later on.

    “He got an investment of €20,000 from the Louth County Enterprise Board, of which he had previously been chief executive until less than a year earlier. And that investment appears as shares in Home Wiring Systems. About a year later though, he created this new company, Smart Homes, and three very short months after creating Smart Homes, Home Wiring Systems ceases trading.

    But while Home Wiring Systems and Smart Homes are the same business the debt to the State was never transferred from Home Wiring Systems over to Smart Homes.”

    Then he got financial and legal advice, to not repay. Then he eventually repaid most. Then he bagged on Smarthomes when the inevitable burst of the bubble arrived. A fellow commenting on a piece on, in responding to another soul who claimed that Ole Baldy was miles ahead of the field, wrote, rather aptly:

    But he is a failed businessman, a failed Fianna Fail politician and a man who has read too many self help books to be taken seriously as a grown up.

    From another comment to round it out:

    “As for credibility, he has built his campaign on his success as a titan of business. Yet he walked away from Smarthomes when the recession hit, just as he walked away from Fianna Fail when they were found out.”

    That’s the one singularity that he’s hoping to avoid by the label “independent”. He was there for all of it, party and personal, and he walked out on both personal and party when the going got tough. He’ll do dear ole Eire proud. He’s your version of Tony Robbins. And why, perish the thought, but if it came to it, you’d vote Dana or Charity Wife (as I call her) over Ole Baldy.

    For an almost forgot, well, hopefully Alias will find this rather rich:

    Smarthomes on Friday, 8th December, 2006 at the Finnabair Industrial Park, Dundalk, and announced a major €10 million investment by the company. The investment will lead to the creation of 100 new jobs over three years and will bring total staff numbers to 150. A high proportion of the new jobs will be high-skilled requiring technical, electronic, research, sales and marketing qualifications.

    An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: “Today’s job announcement and the official opening of Smarthomes new facility is tremendous news for Dundalk. The success of Smarthomes, and of other Irish entrepreneurial companies, is a foundation stone of Ireland’s remarkable economic performance over the last 10 years.”

    A remarkable performance that was a house of cards built on sand. And so how’s that “foundation stone” looking right about now? Sorry, Alias, but “blood cult” when not killing seems infinitely preferable to “foundation stone”.

  • Alias

    “Most people that I have spoken to have one conclusion: Vote Seán Gallagher, Get Fianna Fáil.”

    Well, you’ve probably been talking to too many Shinners in pubs. Vote for Marty, Vote for Human Bombs..

    Saner folks will conclude that Gallagher is not a FF candidate because:

    1. FF is not funding his campaign

    2. FF has not nominated him.

    3. FF has not endorsed him.

    4. FF is not campaigning for him.

    5. FF is not organising his campaign.

    6. Gallagher is running as an independent.

    7. Gallagher is not promoting FF policies.

    8. Gallagher is not a FF politician.

    9. Gallagher is very much his own man.

    On the other hand, the Shinners are a wee bit peeved that Gallagher is soaking up the floating voters that they were after and it is now apparent that the Shinners can’t even get elected in Ireland when votes are literally there for the taking. It’s no wonder they’re trying to damage Gallagher by falsely claiming that he is not an independent candidate. Lying to the voters is the Shinner way…

  • Jimmy Sands

    To be fair, everyone’s trying to nail that rosette on Gallagher, it’s hardly just the chuckies.

  • John Ó Néill

    Alias – since you appear to be in the know – I’ve answered some below, can you fill in the gaps for us since you are so certain?

    1. FF is not funding his campaign
    Who is funding his campaign? Is it different people from those who normally fund FF campaigns? Name one public backer?

    2. FF has not nominated him.
    Four county councils nominated him

    3. FF has not endorsed him.
    Yes they have – numerous FF figures such as Niall Collins TD, Senator Thomas Byrne and others have. Has a FF figure endorsed another candidate?

    4. FF is not campaigning for him.
    Who are FF members campaigning for? Have you any data? Who is the machine behind Sean Gallagher?

    5. FF is not organising his campaign.
    Are FF members involved?
    Maybe are member of others parties involved?

    6. Gallagher is running as an independent
    Yes, of course he is.

    7. Gallagher is not promoting FF policies.
    Do they have policies.

    8. Gallagher is not a FF politician.
    See above, original post, 30 years of activism suggests otherwise.

    9. Gallagher is very much his own man.
    He probably told that to Rory O’Hanlon, Charlie Haughey, Seamus Kirk. Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen while he served in their own party. Define ‘his own man’?

  • Alias

    John, you’re the one making the absurd claims that Gallagher is a “lifetime FF politician” and that “FF [are] set to win” the presidency (despite not having a candidate in teh race) so the onus is on you to prove your claims.

    It is not up to me, for example, to show that FF are funding his campaign, as the party would be expected to do if he was their candidate. It is up to you to support your claim by showing that is the case.

    So far, despite helpfully providing you with a means to establish your claims, all you have done is confirm that your claims are spurious.

    For example, you conflate support staff (activists, members, administration personnel) with politicians and thereby upgrade Gallagher to the status of a politician. This will come as news to secretaries, poster hangers, advisors, et al, who would not consider themselves to be politicians. In answer to (3), you conflate FF politicians with the FF party, and thereby imply that because individuals have endorsed Gallagher that FF has endorsed.

    This is all either very sloppy thinking on your part or deliberate propaganda.

  • Alias

    “To be fair, everyone’s trying to nail that rosette on Gallagher, it’s hardly just the chuckies.” – Jimmy Sands

    True, and a lot of it is so unsubtle that it’ll backfire on them. It’s essentially an appeal for the floating FF vote, so you have to be careful to suggest that it’s a bad thing to be FF supporter (so as to damage Gallagher’s appeal to non-FF supporters) without offending those FF supporters that you’re appealing to for their votes and thereby losing the appeal.

    Even Gallagher is unsure of how to manage it, so on one hand he distances himself from FF and on the other he refuses to criticise FF too severely.

  • @Alias,

    I don’t drink so I don’t frequent pubs. Nor do I need to insult others in order to make a point. The people I was referring to represent a wide spectrum of political views, not just “Shinners”. Even a causal examination of the Irish press over the last two weeks will show many commentators making the self-same points and few – if any – are sympathetic to Sinn Féin.

    The post above was about Seán Gallagher and his political background in Fianna Fáil, which is a legitimate area of discussion. Yet it seems that this cannot be done without reference to Martin McGuinness and his candidacy. Is it not possible to discuss Gallagher, in isolation, without reference to McGuinness or any other candidate in the race for Áras an Uachtaráin?

    Seán Gallagher was an active member of Fianna Fáil since his teens (Ógra Fianna Fáil), something he readily admits, took a leading role at different times in various positions within the broad party; was close to several leading FF politicians (including government ministers such as Rory O’Hanlon); was active at Fianna Fáil fundraising, PR and organisational events; was a campaign director for an FF TD in 2007 (Séamus Kirk), and was approached and considered standing as an FF TD in December 2010 (despite claiming to have resigned from his local cumann in March 2010); was elected to the Ard Comhairle (party leadership) in 2009 which he did not resign until January 2011; campaigned for at least four Fianna Fáil politicians in the recent general election of February 2011 (Billy Kelleher, Dara Calleary, Charlie McConalogue and Margaret Conlon), despite his alleged resignation from the party; has recruited as his main media handlers Suzanne Collins (an ex-FF press officer) and Richard Moore (former press officer of FF TD Dermot Ahern); was forced to deny that members of at least two FF cumainn were active in supporting him locally until instructed to stop doing so by FF HQ when the media got wind of it; was unable to bring himself to condemn FF’s record in government until forced to do so by media and public pressure; and so on and so forth.

    This is nothing to do with Martin McGuinness’ candidacy. He was always destined for third or, on a good day, second place. Mick Fealty has presented several arguments why his candidacy was put forward and they hold considerable merit. So Seán Gallagher is no threat to him, only to Michael D. Higgins.

    In that light I think it is perfectly legitimate to ask questions of Seán Gallagher and to expect straight answers not more of his campaign’s fumble-footed dissembling.

    In any case, we will have to see what effect the mediocre press coverage of the last few days and his poor performance on the TG4 debate will have on his numbers (not to mention his Amhrán na bhFiann gaffe).

  • DoppiaVu


    “Judging by the generally commentary, I’ve not seen any indication that a SF candidate (I’ve pointed out elsewhere that I’d have been conservative and run de Brun) would have received the same handling from the press regardless of their personal history.”

    I’m a bit unclear about what you mean here. If you are saying that if someone other than Marty had stood then SF’s treatment by the media would have been different, then I’d certainly agree. I think that if SF had fielded a lower profile personality then they would have received less attention (both positive and negative). The press would have looked elsewhere for stories, maybe providing space for investigations into Gallagher.

    SF could have fielded a lower profile character, and quietly pocketed the protest vote. Instead, they were greedy and went for an all-out win, fielding a high-profile and controversial character.

    The title of this particular post is particularly apt. Because of David Kelly’s intervention, people seem to be thinking in terms of “After all they did, are SF set to win #aras11?”.

  • Jimmy Sands

    So Seán Gallagher is no threat to him, only to Michael D. Higgins.

    Somewhat disingenuous. SF plainly hoped to capitalize on FF’s absence.

  • John, you’ve failed to highlight Gallagher’s alleged criminal activity – as exposed by Jude Collins.

    As I said to Jude earlier in another place: “Well spotted, Jude. You better not do a similar job on Martin otherwise Sean might seem like an angel by comparison – and you might sink Martin completely :L”

  • Jimmy Sands

    If the bookies are anything to go by, the attacks are hitting home. Michael D strong favourite again now.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Let’s look at the other contenders …

    Norris/Davis/Dana … nominated by FF councillors
    Marty Mac … backed by former FF TD’s
    Micheal D … former Ogra FF member himself

    Only one with no real links to a Fianna Fail is Gay Mitchell

  • Alias

    Well, Nevin, if Jude Collins is trying to damage Gallagher by linking him to FF then it can only be part of a semi-synchronised organised propaganda campaign to promote Michael D. Higgins… err, which party is Collins an unofficial mouthpiece for again?

  • Mick Fealty

    Higgins is 2/1 on….

  • FuturePhysicist

    Higgins/Gallagher divide may be based more on the second preference of McGuinness than their own first preferences.