Sean Gallagher the next ‘commander in chief’, Fianna Fáil TD says

Party TDs share photos with presidential candidate

Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher attended a defence Forces  protest outside  Leinster House on Wednesday and where he also met  some Fianna Fail   TDs. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney Collins

Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher attended a defence Forces protest outside Leinster House on Wednesday and where he also met some Fianna Fail TDs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

A Fianna Fáil TD has said he is likely to vote for Sean Gallagher in the presidential election despite Micheál Martin saying his parliamentary party will support Michael D Higgins’ re-election campaign.

Mr Gallagher attended a protest outside Leinster House on Wednesday on pay levels in the Defence Forces.

A number of Fianna Fáil TDs, including party frontbenchers, posed for pictures with Mr Gallagher, and then posted them on social media. Niall Collins, the party foreign affairs spokesman, and Willie O’Dea, the social protection spokesman, posed for a picture which Mr Collins then tweeted.

One TD called Mr Gallagher - who was once a member of Fianna Fáil - the next “commander in chief”.

Kildare North TD James Lawless tweeted that he was at the “protest outside the Dáil with the next commander in chief”. Mr Lawless afterwards said he will “probably” vote for Mr Gallagher.

“He is a good guy,” Mr Lawless said. “I supported him the last time out.”

Mr Martin earlier this summer said his party would be supporting Mr Higgins, although he later said Fianna Fáil councillors were free to facilitate the entry into the presidential election to those who want to stand against Mr Higgins.

In June, Mr Martin said: “I spoke with the Fianna Fáil Frontbench and Parliamentary Party today and confirmed our view that Fianna Fáil will not field a candidate to challenge President Higgins and will be supporting his candidacy, in the event of him seeking a second term in Áras an Uachtaráin.”

Mr Lawless believes the party position as meaning that individual TDs could not express a preference, noting that councillors were allowed nominated other candidates.