Glenna Lynch to run for Social Democrats in general election

Businesswoman famously grilled then presidential frontrunner Seán Gallagher on TV

The new Social Democrats party has unveiled businesswoman Glenna Lynch as a candidate.

Ms Lynch came to prominence after questioning the then presidential frontrunner Seán Gallagher about aspects of his career on television in 2011.

The party has also recruited the former Labour Mayor of Fingal-turned-Independent councillor Cian O'Callaghan.

Ms Lynch will contest the Dublin Bay South constituency and Mr O’Callaghan will run in Dublin Bay North.

Three prominent Independent TDs came together to form the Social Democrats in July. They are: Catherine Murphy from Kildare North, Wicklow's Stephen Donnelly and Róisín Shortall, who represents Dublin North West.

Ms Lynch said: “We know this country needs change. We voted for it in 2011 and it never came. It’s clear that it will never come from the old parties.

“I joined the Social Democrats because the three founders have shown us how they do politics. We need a clean open politics if we are to build a strong functioning democracy, a vibrant economy and a society that we can all be proud of.

“I’m delighted to stand for the Social Democrats and to offer the people of Dublin Bay South an opportunity for real change.”

Mr O’Callaghan resigned from Labour in 2013 shortly after his term as mayor ended. He was critical of the party’s behaviour in Government.

Labour LGBT had welcomed Mr O’Callaghan’s election as an “openly gay” mayor in 2012.

“I am delighted to be a part of the Social Democrats. I believe that a new type of politics is breaking through - a politics based on participation and inclusion - and the Social Democrats are at the heart of this new politics,” he said on Thursday.

“My own constituency of Dublin Bay North is a hotly contested one and I am looking forward to bringing the Social Democrats message to the people of Dublin Bay North and offering them a new choice.”

The Social Democrats now have a total of 10 declared candidates, with their spokeswoman saying more will be announced in the coming weeks.

Ms Lynch runs the interior design shop Mimosa Interiors on Upper Leeson Street.

She was in the audience of the Frontline programme on RTÉ One presented by Pat Kenny which featured Mr Gallagher during the 2011 presidential election campaign.

The following day she phoned the Today with Pat Kenny programme on RTÉ Radio One after Mr Gallagher, who was being interviewed, referred to her questioning the previous night.

“Who was the businesswoman and what’s her background and where does she come from and what party is she attached to? I’m tired of people being wheeled out with agendas,” Mr Gallagher said.

“You put the person here in front of me let them tell you and me and the nation their background . . . you wheel a person out on a programme and they throw allegations at me without them defining who they are; what their political allegiance is and I find that difficult.”

Speaking at that time, Ms Lynch said she had no political affiliations. She said she did not come from a political family and would have voted for Fianna Fáil until the second last general election, when she "switched" her allegiance.