Presidential hopeful Sarah Louise Mulligan ejected from Dublin meeting
South Dublin County Council votes not to nominate any candidate for election
File photograph showing Sarah Louise Mulligan (foreground) and fellow presidential hopeful Gemma O’Doherty. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Presidential hopeful Sarah Louise Mulligan was ejected from a meeting of South Dublin County Council on Thursday as she made her pitch to councillors for a nomination.
Ms Mulligan, after speaking for about 10 minutes during which she pledged to highlight issues such as child abuse, suicide, and elder abuse during her presidency, asked councillors: “Are you not sick of politicians?”
“Because I am,” she continued. “They’re all talk and no action.”
Councillor Mark Ward, chairing the meeting, at that point told Ms Mulligan that her permitted speaking time had elapsed. However, Ms Mulligan said she would “not be silenced”.
“Don’t you silence me,” she said. “I’ve got every right to stand up and speak. I can speak for Ireland.”
Ms Mulligan then took issue with a remark from councillor Dermot Looney, who suggested that Ms Mulligan would not be speaking for the people of Ireland.
The meeting was suspended moments later as Ms Mulligan shouted at Mr Looney, and approached him, demanding an apology in a raised voice. She said it was “disgusting behaviour”. She was escorted from the chamber by council staff after approaching Mr Looney.
Earlier, Ms Mulligan rebuked councillors for whispering as she was speaking. “I hear a lot of whispering and I’d like you to respect me,” she said.
During her pitch for the Aras, Ms Mulligan said the presidency had “lost touch with the everyday person”.
“We need a president who is in touch with the everyday person,” she said. “We need a president who is in touch with the most vulnerable in out society. I want to be the voice for the voiceless.
“I would use my platform to openly communicate with the young people of Ireland, highlight the early signs of symptoms and help young people who are contemplating suicide.”
She said she would work with Minister for Health Simon Harris on the issue.
Ms Mulligan described herself as “pro life” and said she would commit half her salary to the opening of crisis pregnancy centres.
At another point, she said she would donate half her salary to houses for the homeless.
Ms Mulligan also described herself as “a huge president Trump fan”, and took issue with how she is portayed in the media.
“Don’t always read what you see in the papers,” she said. “I’m no blonde bimbo. The Irish media likes to make me out to be a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Did you see the Tonight show? I didn’t get a word in edgeways.”
She also said she would accompany Joanna Jordan, who recently lost a High Court case seeking to overturn the result of the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, to the European Court of Justice.
“She has 500 pages of evidence where she tried to prove the abortion referendum was rigged,” she said. “I hope to travel to the European Court with Joanna Jordan because I don’t believe this beautiful country voted to murder babies.”
The meeting also heard from journalist Gemma O’Doherty, who said the next big issue facing Irish society was corruption. “I have exposed the fact that there is an elite doing whatever they like,” she said.
“Some of these people are judges, solicitors, crime reporters, and newspaper editors.”
She said she had been involved in exposing “a number of murders that had been covered up by the State”.
Ms O’Doherty doubled down on her assertion that journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered by the State. She said she had “been told by serious sources” that that was the case.
Ms O’Doherty also commented on freedom of the press and expressed support for “free speech and freedom of expression”.
Councillor Louise Dunne asked Ms O’Doherty how she could stand over that assertion on the basis that, on Twitter, she “blocks anyone” who disagrees with her. Ms O’Doherty replied that she blocks those who “abuse” her on Twitter.
At the conclusion of the meeting, which also heard from a number of other speakers, the council voted not to support any candidates.