Casey: I will step down after five years as president

Businessman says format of RTÉ debate was ‘bit disorganised’ and ‘could have been more stimulating’

Peter Casey: ’We’re far too politically correct’. Also pictured at last night’s debate is Joan Freeman. Photograph Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

Peter Casey: ’We’re far too politically correct’. Also pictured at last night’s debate is Joan Freeman. Photograph Tom Honan/The Irish Times.

 

Presidential candidate Peter Casey says the duration of the presidency should be five years with the election being held on the same day as county council elections.

He told the Ireland AM television programme on Virgin One that “when” he is president he will step down after five years and seek a constitutional amendment about the term of presidency.

County council elections will be held in 2019 with the next elections after that in 2024 - which is when Mr Casey would like to see the next presidential election being held on the same day.

He also says the president should not be allowed to nominate themselves and that a candidate should require 100 signatures from county councillors to achieve a nomination.

The businessman was also critical of the format of last night’s presidential debate on RTÉ, saying it had not been well compered, was a “bit disorganised” and “could have been more stimulating”.

Mr Casey was adamant he would win the election, saying “I will be president” and “I’m going to be president.” He said there was “no Plan B”.

He defended his comments on the Travelling community saying that everyone should be treated equally and that the State should not discriminate against anybody. “When I see something wrong I call it out.”

The State cannot forget the people who are working, he added in response to a question about an article he wrote last weekend in which he said Ireland was in danger of becoming a welfare state.

People need a hand up, not a hand out, Mr Casey said, adding he was in favour of a programme similar to the GI Bill in the United States that had helped people co-purchase their own homes. “People expect houses, and that’s not right. Co-ownership is the way.”

The high number of people on the social housing list was because of a failure on the part of the Government to tackle the housing crisis, he said.

“This is not the first housing crisis in the world. Other countries have taken action. In New Zealand you have to be a resident to buy a house; that stops foreign investors from coming in and buying up houses. We should do the same thing.

“The president has a responsibility to stimulate debate - that’s what I would do. We’re far too politically correct; there needs to be more debate. Debate is good, debate is healthy.”