Election 2020 outtakes: Casey’s beef with Varadkar

Former Dragon says he’ll run in Dublin West as Taoiseach bemoans vegan claims

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar buys  sausages at Fitzgerald’s Butchers during his general election campaign walkabout in Fermoy, Co Cork. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar buys sausages at Fitzgerald’s Butchers during his general election campaign walkabout in Fermoy, Co Cork. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg.

 

Not so ‘fast’ Eddie

A week is a long time in politics, so the cliche goes, but for Fianna Fáil’s Eddie Ryan it must be eternal.

“Fast” Eddie declared his intention on Monday night to run for a Dáil seat in Limerick alongside poll-topping party colleague Niall Collins.

The pair were going to be a “formidable force” in the Treaty City, Ryan vowed to the Limerick Leader.

“I feel I have something to offer to the people of Limerick,” he declared.

“I am looking forward to the challenge this spring and look forward to meeting the people on the doors and on the streets.”

But having slept on it, Ryan changed his mind and had pulled out of the race by Tuesday.

Fianna Fáil HQ said it was “obviously disappointed” by the speedy U-turn. The party has yet to decide if Collins will have a replacement running mate.

Emmett Smith who is running for People Before Profit in Cavan-Monaghan
Emmett Smith who is running for People Before Profit in Cavan-Monaghan

High flier puts faith in People Before Profit

People Before Profit aren’t usually accused of being high fliers, but one of their hopefuls is jetting in from the other side of the world to stand for election.

Emmett Smith (32) is travelling from Australia to fight for a Dáil seat in Cavan-Monaghan.

The construction worker said he would ditch his job Down Under if returned as a TD – otherwise he’ll fly back out and clock in as normal.

Tate Donnelly, his 21-year-old Green Party rival in the Border constituency, has yet to comment on the carbon cost of that 30,000km round trip.

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493 – The number of candidates declared so far for the general election, as of Tuesday evening. Noon on Wednesday is the deadline for nominations. Voters also have until close of business to get their name on the electoral register.

Meat and greet

Leo Varadkar might be disinclined to lower the voting age anytime soon after a lively encounter with the schoolchildren of Fermoy in Co Cork.

Not a bit intimidated meeting the country’s leader, the youngsters at Coláiste Cholmáin greeted his arrival by rebuking him for being “double parked” on the road. They went on to give out about their sports facilities being “rat-infested” while the girls over at Loreto challenged him on homelessness.

The Taoiseach eventually skulked off to a butcher’s shop to buy half a dozen sausages complaining about being labelled a vegan. “They keep accusing me of spin but that vegan thing has been spun out of control.”

Fine Gael left wondering

One Fine Gael strategist has got to the bottom of their slip in the polls – there is a leftist conspiracy afoot in the media, apparently.

In an internal message to party volunteers in Dún Laoghaire – leaked to comrade Gavan Reilly at Virgin Media News – an elections director fumed that “so much of the media is opposed to giving Fine Gael a fair crack of the whip.”

RTÉ is institutionally opposed to government ... you only have to listen to the curled lips of the presenters anytime a FG representative is on air to see that.”

The missive goes on that it is a “fact” that many Irish journalists are “instinctively left wing, pro the unions, naturally sympathetic to the Shinners, Coppingers, Boyd Barretts and their ilk.”

Even The Irish Times, the party insider lamented, has “been largely captured by the left”.

Businessman Peter Casey: ‘I really want to make sure that I can do anything at all to make sure he is not elected taoiseach.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Businessman Peter Casey: ‘I really want to make sure that I can do anything at all to make sure he is not elected taoiseach.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Double the trouble

Undeterred by repeated failures to get elected, former Dragon’s Den star Peter Casey has hit upon a new strategy – he’s standing in two constituencies.

After submitting his nomination papers for the Donegal constituency, the wealthy Derry-born businessman confirmed he would also run against Varadkar in Dublin West.

Running in two constituencies is permitted under the rules, and you don’t have to live in – or own a property – in the constituency where you want to run.

“Leo Varadkar went out and told people not to vote for me in the presidential election, which is borderline unconstitutional,” Casey explained his rationale to the Donegal Democrat. “I really want to make sure that I can do anything at all to make sure he is not elected taoiseach.”

But it’s nothing personal. “I don’t know the man personally so it is not personal,” he insisted.