By Fiachra O'Cionnaith and Juno McEnroe
Presidential election candidate Sean Gallagher has today attempted to quell his bitter disappointment at a second election defeat in a row by saying "nobody has died".
Mr Gallagher told reporters as he arrived at the Dublin Castle election centre this afternoon that while the repeat of the 2011 result has hurt him, he was still right to make another attempt at becoming president.
In 2011, Mr Gallagher won 28% of the first preference vote, a figure that is likely to slump to below 8% in the 2018 election.
Asked for his views on the second defeat running, Mr Gallagher said he is bitterly disappointed but insisted he has "no regrets" as "nobody has died".
"Ah look it, the life of anybody who has ever stepped forward is you take the highs and the lows. Most importantly today is nobody has died, democracy has spoken and we move on to the next important things in life.
"Today is not a day for post-mortems, we'll hear the result, and it's Michael D's day, he's been re-elected, so I'll wish him well, I'll say a few words at the event later to do that and to wish all the contestants, the candidates, well.
"I focus too on my own team, an honour and a privilege to have the team work with me. And also my wife who continues to be my rock and supports and encourages me in all that I do," he said.
Mr Gallagher said he "would have loved to have gotten a better result", but accepted "that's the nature of elections and the people have spoken".
He criticised the "short" nature of the race which made it "hard to build momentum" and noted the fact there were "a small number of debates" - despite the fact he refused to take part in one himself - but insisted he is making "no excuses".
Mr Gallagher said he was glad that his messages about jobs, education and disability were relevant points but perhaps they did not resonate with voters or the ideas were not communicated well to the electorate.
He said he believed from the commentary for the race that his Dragon's Den rival and fellow race contender, Peter Casey, had benefited from what is being perceived as a “protest vote” in the race.
“What does it mean? I don't know. As with everything in life, you have to step forward for everything you believe in and I have done that. I've done it twice,” added the Cavan man.
“I remain committed to the country, communities and to the values that I have addressed.”
Asked if he will run again, Mr Gallagher said "we'll deal with this one for the moment before we think about going beyond 2018".
"I think I'll decide that, I won't make any decisions today, but I remain as committed to the country as ever. I won't make any decision now but I do know truthfully Ireland is going to face a lot of challenges in the future.
If I can use my skills and abilities I will, but how, I don't know," Mr Gallagher said.