Sean Gallagher divests himself of all business concerns

Sean Gallagher divests himself of all business concerns

By Olivia Kelleher

Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher has divested himself of all his business concerns in order to focus on his bid to become President of Ireland.

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," said Mr Gallagher.

"Even though it is not required under legislation I did a full declaration to the standards in Public Office 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.

Trish said the campaign was energetic particularly given they have a five-year-old and two-year-old at home.

"Bobby is five and Lucy is two. The two-year-old is oblivious. She misses Daddy a bit.

Bobby is in senior infants so there is a bit of a buzz around school about it. He is excited. His understanding is that Daddy is in a competition to be President.

Mr Gallagher admitted his command of the Irish language was rusty but said he was making efforts to improve his fluency.

When asked about any possible support coming his way from Fianna Fáil TD's or councillors he said he welcomed positive feedback from all over the political spectrum.

Meanwhile, one of Mr Gallagher's first stops in the iconic market was to the stall of fishmonger Pat O'Connell who is a former President of Cork Business Association.

Traders in the market are beginning to become non-plussed by high profile visits having welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and President Michael D Higgins to the shopping area following the high profile visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2011.

Mr O'Connell, whose iconic photograph with a laughing Queen Elizabeth gained huge prominence, said he welcomed all the of the visits from politicians and personalities.

He stressed he respected the courage of the candidates in putting their names forward for election.

"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."

Mr O'Connell described the English Market as the "heart of Cork city".

"Where else do you want to meet the public but in the English Market? The atmosphere and the buzz.

"Everyone wants to be part of it. It is a measure of opinion in Cork. All walks of life come in here."

The market is a magnet for tourists. 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.

"That said we can say that he (Sean Gallagher) came in to meet us. If (the English Market) it is good enough for the Queen it's good enough for us."

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