Michael D Higgins is emerging as favourite to reclaim the presidency – but Joan Freeman is highly thought of in Kilkenny city since she came and addressed a crowd on suicide prevention in City Hall here some years ago when there was nothing in it for herself personally.
There’s criticism of Michael D that he never bothered much with Kilkenny as the country’s themed medieval city as president.
Sean Gallagher still gets a strong Fianna Fail following while Gavin Duffy is being favoured by Fine Gael members here – he is fancied as the typical country gentleman.
But Peter Casey is not wanted, even for nothing and Lia Ni Riada gets a Sinn Fein party member support but that’s it.
However Michael D is seen as a man more concerned about all the money than the office, but he still had a good half of all the support in the county at this stage. Though there’s a feeling that Sean Gallagher was badly done by last time by Pat Kenny and RTE and that people should vote for him and we’ll hear the patter of tiny feet in the Aras for the first time ever.
It’s really Higgins V Gallagher from what we hear in Kilkenny with three weeks to go. You have former Labour mayor Sean O’hArgain backing Higgins as well as John Paul Phelan who is under party orders to do so with Fine Gael, the government party, having no candidate of their own in the field.
However there.s nobody yet put their hand in their pocket or their purse to contribute to the Higgins campaign that wants fifty thousand. To their embarrassment we have to report that neither John Paul nor An t-Uasal O’hArgain have put their hands in their back pocket for a fiver.
However Enya Kennedy of the gay community, her with the dyed pink hair, supports Higgins and some abortionists here support him too. A sort of a coalition to re-elect Higgins is emerging there – though many notables are missing this time round.
The real problem with the president seems to be his penchant for more and more money. Higgins spends thousands on suits and on the Charvet shirts and ties that Charlie Haughey loved. He won’t account before the election for the spending of the controversial 317,000 presidential allowance every year. The older he gets the more expensive to the taxpayer he gets.
And amid all the homeless people evicted for non-payment of mortgages Higgins emerges as the president who signed the Eviction Order. he signed an order giving the Garda more powers against the water protesters too. Then he comes in for criticism for internationally eulogising Fidel Castro as well as jetting off to visit George Soros.
Sean Gallagher comes in strongly as a decent Irish man who would be good for the business of the country while Gavin Duffy is trusted as a benign type of country squire. Joan Freeman is naturally the women’s favourite, she’s your everyday nice friendly woman – but she also has a very powerful appeal with her campaign for mental health and women’s health issues. Kilkenny Councillor Melissa O’Neill is all in favour of Joan Freeman because of her powerful and active support for women’s health issues. Melissa says that wall women simply must support Joan for president for the advancement of women’s health issues in the country.
Higgins and Gallagher are neck and neck across the country but with Joan Freeman surprisingly in third. Gavin Duffy could have done with support from the likes of John Paul Phelan and senior Fine Gael figures if he was to make it and he hasn’t got that with the government party pumping for Higgins. Neither Liadh ni Riada nor Peter Casey are mentioned at all in Kilkenny.
With three weeks left it’s Higgins by a head in Kilkenny , followed closely by Gallagher and Joan Freeman. Gavin Duffy is still in there but badly needs party support from his preferred Fine Gaelers and that doesn’t seem to be happening.
Cllr. Melissa O’Neill proposed Joan Freeman at KIlkenny County Council. Melissa states that Joan’s work has actively helped her own project for women’s health issues and that’s why she supports Joan to be President of Ireland. These are the main players as seen in Kilkenny with only three weeks left to go to polling day on October 26th.
[ Declaration of Interest: Having interviewed him at County Hall I think that Gavin Duffy is the most suitable person to succeed Michael D Higgins as President, but I don’t think he’ll make it. I genuinely consider Michael D Higgins as far too old – and I’m old enough to remember the blind DeValera being helped around during his second term in office. ~Ireland needs a younger man and Gavin Duffy is 58 with Sean Gallagher even younger]
Gemma O’Doherty had the most support from the people in the street in Kilkenny but the County Council did not choose any candidate at all to nominate in the finality even though they could have chosen her.
PICTURED ARE PRES. HIGGINS WITH GEORGE SOROS, SEAN O’hARGAIN, GEMMA O’DOHERTY, CLLR. MELISSA O’NEILL, GAVIN DUFFY.