Dana promises a people's campaign for Presidency


Dana, the presidential election candidate, said yesterday that hers would be a people's campaign, with plenty of people willing and able to help. The Derry-born singer travelled yesterday from Cork to Dublin after her success in securing the presidential nomination from local authorities in Donegal, Wicklow, Longford, Tipperary North Riding and Kerry on Monday.

Dana, or Mrs Rosemary Scallon, told The Irish Times yesterday that one of the advantages of not being affiliated to a political party was the offer of help from people from every shade of political opinion and every possible walk of life.

Asked about the cost of her campaign, Dana declined to give details, commenting: "I leave the financial side to others." She said she would go to the people and that was a wonderful thing. "Sometimes there is a perception that the more money you have, the better the campaign will be. I don't believe that. I believe the more people you have, the better it will be.

"It will be a people's campaign with plenty of people willing and able to help. I'm not going to get hooked into the idea that the more money we have, the better it will be."

After receiving the nomination of Donegal County Council on Monday, she went to Cork to talk to councillors there. Yesterday, however, she said she was exhausted but had telephoned as many councillors as she could to thank them.

"The Irish people should know that many councillors voted against their party whip and put the democratic rights of the people before their own political futures," she said.

She was excited at having been nominated. "I didn't believe it would be happening so quickly and I thought we'd have to struggle until the end of September."

She said of her nomination: "To tell the truth, it took us so much by surprise, we weren't in gear for stage two." She now wanted time to think about the second stage of the campaign.

Today Dana will be a guest of the Seanad, arriving there at 2.30 p.m. "I'm looking forward to that as it will be my first visit to the Senate," she said.

A spokesman for her said the candidate had written to every councillor, TD and senator in the State. Now she would be planning the next stage of her campaign after winning the presidential nomination so quickly.

Dana was accompanied yesterday on her journey from Cork by her sister, Ms Susan Stein, a US-based television producer. The other members of her team are also family members, including her husband, Mr Damien Scallon; her brother, Mr John Brown, who has returned from England for the campaign; and her brother-in-law, Mr Colm Scallon.