Sean Gallagher says he has stepped back from all business concerns
Presidential candidate, on canvass in Cork, says his sole allegiance is to Ireland
Seán Gallagher in Mallow, County Cork, chatting to Francis O’Brien this week. Picture: Kinlan Photography.
Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher has stepped back from his business concerns to focus on his bid to become President.
Speaking at the English Market in Cork Mr Gallagher, who was accompanied by his wife Trish on a walkabout, vowed that his allegiance would be solely to the people of Ireland.
“We have already spoken to my legal team and that is all put in place. As of before the campaign started I stepped back from all my business interests. Even though it is not required under legislation I did a full declaration to the Standards in Public Office (Commission) about two weeks ago and outlined all the businesses I am involved in and am a shareholder or a director of or any assets.”
He said any presidential allowances should be accounted for and that transparency is needed in the process.
“After all it is taxpayers money and taxpayers deserve to know where the money is going. Whatever funding is made available to run the office of the President should be accounted for.”
Mr Gallagher said he had “a bit of an inside track on Cork”, being married to Kanturk native, Trish.
Mr Gallagher admitted his Irish was rusty but said he was making efforts to improve his fluency. When asked about any possible support coming his way from Fianna Fáil TDs or councillors he said he welcomed positive feedback from all across the political spectrum.
One of of Mr Gallagher’s first stops in the market was to the stall of fishmonger Pat O’Connell, a former president of Cork Business Association.
Traders in the market are by now well accustomed to high profile visits, having welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and President Michael D Higgins, following the high profile visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2011.
Mr O’Connell, whose photograph with a laughing Queen Elizabeth gained huge prominence, said he welcomed all the the visits from politicians and personalities.
“We are lucky we live in a democracy and we appreciate that. These people who put their names forward for public office lose an awful lot of privacy. It is not an easy job. Whether we vote for them or not I appreciate that they put their name forward. Joan Freeman has been in recently. She was quiet but nice. She has done incredible work for Pieta House.”
In the market, Mr Gallagher pressed the flesh with three women who turned out to be American visitors to Ireland. They asked if Mr Gallagher “had a chance” and said that they were a bit concerned that he would end up having to meet President Trump.
Joan Vella from Seattle said she was enjoying her trip but expressed disappointment at having missed President Michael D Higgins who visited the market yesterday.