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He did what? Presidential Election Debate Update! October 25, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
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The sky may – near literally – have fallen over large parts of the country yesterday, Dublin may be partially submerged by water but… the campaign continues nonetheless. One feels that if it had been necessary to ferry candidates in and out of studios by gondolier it would have happened. And what’s this? What’s this???

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE Seán Gallagher has conceded he may have delivered a €5,000 donation from a “convicted criminal and fuel smuggler” to Fianna Fáil headquarters three years ago.

In the latest dramatic twist in the presidential election campaign, Mr Gallagher, speaking during last night’s Frontline television debate on RTÉ, at first denied any knowledge of a Sinn Féin claim he had personally collected a €5,000 cheque from a man who attended a fundraiser for former taoiseach Brian Cowen.

But later…

“What I have done, I may well have delivered the photograph. If he gave me an envelope I . . . if he gave me the cheque it was made out to Fianna Fáil headquarters and it was delivered and that was that. It was nothing to do with me.”

Hmmm… welcome to the new politics.

Anyhow, a ‘Sinn Féin’ claim… interesting choice of words there.

I’d thought it might get even dirtier in these last few days before Thursday, but I surely didn’t expect SF to be the delivery system of the latest attack against Gallagher, but… I guess given how grim the campaign has been hitherto why would anyone be surprised?

For a campaign that people, including myself, thought would be dull before it started…

As to the substantive issue. It looks awful, or as IELB said… he ‘was caught rapid’. This can’t play well for Gallagher, it’s a perfect storm for him really – so much for his ‘independent’ status, so much for being a break with the past, and can’t – I’m presuming – do much good for McGuinness. So that leaves the question as to how grateful Labour will be to SF if Higgins wins. 😉

I’m interested in peoples thoughts on it and likely outcomes.

Just adding in some video of the debate (IEL)

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Comments»

1. Pope Epopt - October 25, 2011

Independent is the new FF.

There are plenty of conservative localist constituencies throughout Europe which are dominated by ‘independents’. Many FF career politicians saw this coming before the last general election.

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2. reformirishpolitics - October 25, 2011

While Gallaghers gaff did not surprise me in it content, it was interesting to see how he kept tripping up over his ‘facts’, going from bad to worse. There was no way he could spin his way out of the predicament he found himself caught up in. He had to fall back on that oldest of Fianna Fail defences the brown envelope, a defense so thin at this point with the electorate it is no defense at all. He was quite literally caught like a rabbit in headlights.

It might very well be the last time we ever see him in front of a live studio audience. It might be too soon to call, but that could very well have been Gallaghers Nixon moment.

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3. Joe - October 25, 2011

I dunno. 40% of people polled were voting for Gallagher before last night. Any chance a lot of them will feel their man was ganged up on last night and that they’ll stick with him on that basis? Nothing would suprise me when it comes to the masses. (Well actually a swing to the left would).
I watched a good half hour at the end last night. The other car crash was Mitchell losing it with Kenny. Just seemed to lose it for no apparent reason. I’d say the frustration of being stuck at 8% and being unable to shift from there just caught up with him. And he lashed out. I’d say any FGer who was planning to cavass for him over the next three days probably thought better of it after that display. A disastrous candidate for them.

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4. LeftAtTheCross - October 25, 2011

I hadn’t watched any of the debates before last night’s Frontline debate, and in truth I wouldn’t have watched that one either except my other half wanted to watch it. What a program. McGuinness landed Gallagher hook line and sinker with that envelope incident. But even apart from that I thought Gallagher was atrocious, he actually has difficulty in stringing sentences together. I particularly liked Pat Kenny’s absolute undermining of Gallagher’s “business” credentials when, in relation to the prospect of Gallagher wooing potential foreign director investors with the IDA, Pat Kenny remarked that creating a company of 100 empyloees in the middle of a construction boom and which is now reduced to 20 or so, well it’s not exactly Microsoft is it? Classic stuff. Last night exposed Gallagher for what he is, a buffoon in a suit.

The other wonderful part of the show was at the end when Gay Mitchell’s soother fell out of his pram and he started criticising Pat Kenny and the media for pitching questions that didn’t allow the candidates to get their messages across during the campaign. Now there’s an element of truth in the shallowness of the madia analysis, and no doubt, but having a hissy fit during the final debate of the campaign did nothing but expose the nastiness of Mitchell’s character. Again, in fairness to Pat Kenny, he did a good job of phrasing a defence that the questions allowed viewers to make an assessment of the candidates that included their personality and character as well as their policy positions, dig dig. And anyway, as one audience member pointed out from the floor, the questions on the night weren’t Kenny’s, they were from representatives of the public who constituted the show’s audience. So much for the institutional arrogance of Mitchell and his resentment that the public should be allowed some input into the process and decide what gets discussed, rather than just his own PR team.

On the other candidates, Norris handled himself very well I thought. He has a sharp intellect and is very charasmatic. He’s still getting my number one on Thursday. McGuinness came across very well although I wouldn’t like to see him as president so I won’t be giving him a preference. Higgins did ok I thought but he’s a bit full of it, I think someone used the word pious during the programme and it does seem appropriate. Davis also came across ok. Dana, well the less said the better really.

All in all, a good debate and RTE did us a public service in hosting it and pitching it the way they did. And kudos to those members of the audience, many of whom I suspect were partisan, for the the very pointed questions.

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5. alastair - October 25, 2011

It sure looks like Gallagher has sunk himself with what looks like a blatant lie, combined with the Ted Crilly ‘resting in my account’ and ‘envelope’ reference. But looks might be deceiving. Michael D might well have the bump he needs, but I wouldn’t be certain.

Norris is back on form – presumably having resigned himself to ‘dark horse’ status.

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WorldbyStorm - October 25, 2011

Yeah, the ‘dark horse’ comment during the debate sounded like a neat rationalisation. You’re dead right… He’s back!!! A bit late though.

I’d agree too … It may be a gamechanger and perhaps Higgins only needs his famous 5/6 percent to close but it may not be… And the big problem for Highins is he remains tied to the govt.

LATC I was fascinated by the questions the person in the audience put to Gallagher re his accounts, clearly no end of forensic stuff going on, people been busy.

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alastair - October 25, 2011

It’s pretty clear that the summation of the accounts that Michael D(?) suggested ‘sometimes’ happens (director’s loan to evade tax) is probably what was going on. There’s been a lot about. The woman who asked the question is on the phone for Pat Kenny’s Gallagher interview at the moment.

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6. alastair - October 25, 2011

She’s making mincemeat of him.

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sonofstan - October 25, 2011

God bless the articulate southside middle- classes (oh, wait, stop, what am I saying? :))

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LeftAtTheCross - October 25, 2011

It’s people power at its best SoS. The beauty of it is that an articulate working-class Dub’ ringing into Pat Kenny’s show wouldn’t resonate with the show’s audience, or with Kenny himself, that’s a territory that belongs to Duffy’s Liveline show. This is the middle-class conscience acting in its own self-interest, a bourgeois morality at play. That we share a common enemy in pro-business FF-nua is a plus of course.

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neilcaff - October 25, 2011

Oi LATC it’s too early in the afternoon for Popular Frontism! 😉

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sonofstan - October 25, 2011

Great fun and so on…

Distracted me from cleaning up my flood damaged kitchen anyway: but I’d say there’s a lot of people with a lot more pressing worries at the minute, which may save Seánie boy.

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Blissett - October 25, 2011

I think thats a good point sonofstan. Many people will be paying little enough attention to the news, and those that will, the big story (and rightly so) will be the young Guard who was tragically swept away last night.
The focus on Gallagher will therefore be less intense than it might otherwise have been. Still reckon its done enough that MDH will get over the line on transfers..

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7. LeftAtTheCross - October 25, 2011

Nice one over on Dublin Opinion:

Seán Gallagher – Collection Boy, just another Fianna Fáil bagman.

http://dublinopinion.com/2011/10/25/sean-gallagher-collection-boy/

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8. rockroots - October 25, 2011

Only dipped in and out of it last night. To be frank, I’m not sure it will dent Gallagher’s prospects all that much. For one thing, how many people will have watched yet another presidential debate this late in the campaign (though clearly a lot more people here did than I would have expected). For another thing, what struck me, on the bits I saw, was the ganging-up by the other candidates and – especially – the pantomime booing and hissing from the audience members. As Joe says, the big majority of people who are apparently supporting him might simply feel it’s sour grapes, or that they’ve already become sick of each of the others and that Gallagher is the best of a bad bunch. We’ll soon know if it’s too late in the campaign for a major upset.

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irishelectionliterature - October 25, 2011

I’d say there was a decent sized audience due to the weather.

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alastair - October 25, 2011

Pat’s just said they had a 48% of telly viewers last night.

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9. Pancho Villa - October 25, 2011

RTE news there, hes spinning it as a Sinn Fein attack due to his comments about Jerry McCabes murder.

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10. Frankie Boy - October 25, 2011

He was caught by the balls.Tough for Michael D to catch up though. He has really said very little throughout the campaign and you wonder how far the vison stuff goes with an electorate battered by recession. Good move by McGuinness, if you wanted intel on business dealings in a border county who esle would you go to?
But if someone examined the funding of Sinn Fein, and the amount of ex-prisoners who have become successful businessmen who wouldn’t know what you’d find. Luckily nobodys going to bother at this election. On balance Higgins by a inch- transfers from McGuinness and Mitchel to prove crucial.

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11. irishelectionliterature - October 25, 2011

Dreadful stuff – Gay Mitchells latest Video Effort. He looks like a cardboard cutout standing with Kenny at the end.

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rockroots - October 25, 2011

That’s terrible. What’s with all the walking? Where’s he walking to?

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RepublicanSocialist1798 - October 25, 2011

A lost deposit.

And probably to Dundrum.

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dmfod - October 25, 2011

Worst bit was the unintentionally gross praise from his wife saying she’s been married to him for thirty years and so knows all about his ‘drive’ and ‘passion’ – ugh!

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CMK - October 25, 2011

He look’s a bit like Alan Partridge in this shot.

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Jack Jameson - October 26, 2011

Terry Prone was being unmercifully goaded by Vincent Browne on Monday night for the bags made of Mitchell’s campaign.

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12. Ciarán - October 25, 2011

Poll figures from yesterday (and that was before last night’s debate)…

Michael D Higgins 38%
Sean Gallagher 20%
Martin McGuinness 20%
David Norris 11%
Gay Mitchell 6%
Mary Davis 3%
Dana Rosemary Scallon 2%

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WorldbyStorm - October 25, 2011

Thanks.

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LeftAtTheCross - October 25, 2011

Paddy Power is now quoting:

Michael D.Higgins 8/13
Sean Gallagher 6/5
Martin McGuinness 25/1
David Norris 33/1
Gay Mitchell 66/1
Dana Rosemary Scallon 300/1
Mary Davis 300/1

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13. WorldbyStorm - October 25, 2011

Just thinking it took a long time for the ‘SF smear’ line from the Hallagher camp to emerge. Indecision or amateurism on their part? I think a more seasoned campaigner would have been out the fat with it immediately.

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LeftAtTheCross - October 25, 2011

I doubt Gallagher is the quickest thinking person around, in general as well as in terms of political instincts. He just comes across as, well, a bit dim.

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Paddy M - October 25, 2011

For example, he kept talking on the radio this morning about McGuinness’s refusal to “condone” various murders until Pat Kenny corrected the verb for him.

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LeftAtTheCross - October 25, 2011
WorldbyStorm - October 25, 2011

‘out the gate’ natch!

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Mark P - October 25, 2011

What’s particularly bizarre about the whole thing is that the core allegation wouldn’t actually be particularly serious if it wasn’t for the way he handled the issue. In trying to distance himself from Fianna Fail beforehand and then denying and then hesitating and then un-denying during the debate he succeeded in making himself look shifty and dodgy.

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14. Pancho Villa - October 25, 2011

Listening to the Pat Kenny thing here now http://www.rte.ie/radio1/todaywithpatkenny/ When talking about Sinn Fein his language is eh..interesting ‘loaded the gun’ ‘attack in the border area’ etc.

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shea - October 25, 2011

yeah ambush and political assasination. on george hook now SF staged a military style ambush on me.

wonder will it work. he wasn’t this prepared last night guessing we’ll be reading on suday about how eoghan harris gave him a call to save ireland.

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irishelectionliterature - October 25, 2011

(just in 🙂 and whats in my inbox but a statement from Gallagher)

Gallagher slams Martin McGuinness’ attempt at ‘political assassination’

Independent Presidential candidate, Seán Gallagher has slammed Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin’s attempt at ‘political assassination.’

“I have fought a clean campaign beyond reproach now Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin have come out against me for two reasons. Firstly I called on all candidates and members of the public to come forward with any information about brutal murder of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe who was killed tragically in performance of his duties in protecting this state and secondly because of my position in the opinion polls.”

“This has made me a target for slurs and untruths.”

“This was a political assassination attempt by Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin last night. The person in question Hugh Morgan is a convicted criminal and he loaded the gun while Martin McGuinness pulled the trigger. I told the truth on Frontline.”

“Martin McGuinness said that I visited Hugh Morgan after the event to deliver a photograph and collect the cheque. This is untrue.”

“I am pleased that Fianna Fáil have clarified on the Pat Kenny Show this morning that they received a cheque of €5,000 date the 26th of June 2008 from Mr. Morgan and that this donation was acknowledged and receipted and lodged to their bank account on the 28th of June in advance of the event which was held on the 1st of July.”

“So I could not have collected any cheque from Mr. Morgan after the event when I delivered the photograph, which he was very insistent that he wanted delivered to him.”

“Today when evidence has emerged that refutes Mr. McGuinness’s claims he has changed his story. This is despite he claims that he spoke to Mr. Morgan only two hours before the debate where Mr. McGuinness levelled these untrue accusations at me. Martin McGuinness is just not credible.”

“This was a legitimate and legal fundraiser. No banks were robbed and no members of the Gardaí were killed during it.”

“This attempt to slur me and my campaign will not succeed.”

“I urge all my supporters around the country to stay focussed on a positive campaign. Sinn Féin were out to get me. I will fight on in a positive way as I have been for the future and the good of this great country. The people of Ireland will have their say on Thursday.”

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sonofstan - October 25, 2011

just in 🙂

Out somewhere? Anywhere nice?

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irishelectionliterature - October 25, 2011

Belfield and it was brilliant.. I’m sure there’ll be a Rovers related piece here in the next few days.

Joking aside, What’s the story over in D7 ? Is there any truth to that theory of certain board members and their pals being positioned to make a killing on Dalymount?

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sonofstan - October 26, 2011

^^^^
It’ll probably all become pretty clear soon enough, but I can’t really say anything yet. Just like you probably won’t confirm whether MON has (finally) signed a new contract.

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EamonnCork - October 26, 2011

Extraordinary statement, all the bollocks about dignity and positivity went out the window pretty quickly there. I like the implication that the litmus test for the legitimacy of any political donation is whether anyone was killed while it was being made. It seems to set the bar slightly low.
Far more damning than the Morgan case is the revelation that this greedy sleazebag was charging local GAA clubs five grand each for ‘help’ with their application for sports funding. The notion of looking for money so you can put a word in with the minister is pretty blatant corruption even by the standards of FF. And that he was doing it to hard pressed local sporting organisations throws a harsh light on this dork’s ‘friend of the common man’ image.
What you have here is a FFer redolent of the very worst aspects of the party, one of those rats who jumped from the sinking ship before the last election, the kind of guy Martin would run a mile from. He might still be President. Truly the power of television is a wonderful thing.
And as for all the blather about job creation, Higgins has created more jobs with TG4 alone than Gallagher ever has. I wasn’t that pushed about the election but now I’m very keen to see this lad get his come uppance. Not least because I don’t want to hear the phrase, “Ireland is open for business,” in his acceptance speech.
That he is a contender is of course a result of NAMA and the other processes by which the people who actually bankrupted the country were protected from the consequences of their actions and continue to soldier on regardless of what happened. I’m sure the architects of NAMA would consider this to be the desired result.
Was there some game on in Tallaght? I must have missed that.

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sonofstan - October 26, 2011

Tallaght

It was in Belfield – possibly the least glamorous venue in the country in which to win a title (bitterness pouring out of him like the sweat on Seán Gallagher’s baldie head).

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EamonnCork - October 26, 2011

I don’t care where it was, I’m still refusing to accept it. Perhaps all this new CERN stuff about the speed of light means we can go back in time and remedy this blatant injustice.
Oh all right. Congrats IEL. Though you were lucky to get the result last night, I really fancied Galway to give a big performance in the last game because srr3642388023’2111£^&*((^

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15. HAL - October 25, 2011

I need to get out more because for the life of me I can’t understand how anyone could vote for SG.He has an expressionless zombie like appearance and looks like he doesn’t know what’s going on.My vote will go to whoever looks like beating him.

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16. irishelectionliterature - October 25, 2011

From Broadsheet.ie ….

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17. So How Will I Vote? « I . D O U B T . I T/ - October 26, 2011

[…] was until recently a member of Fianna Fáil. To my mind he still is in all but name. The McGuinness ambush may have been rather tabloidesque, but at least it alerted a much larger section of the public to […]

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18. Enter Bagman « An Sionnach Fionn - October 26, 2011

[…] He did what? Presidential Election Debate Update! (cedarlounge.wordpress.com) Comhroinn (Share):FacebookTwitterMoreLinkedInStumbleUponDiggRedditEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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