Three music legends back Meath guitarist to get a Presidential 'shot of the whip'

Three music legends back Meath guitarist to get a Presidential 'shot of the whip'
Jimmy Smyth and Don Baker with Navan Fianna Fáil Cllr Tommy Reilly ahead of addressing Meath Co Council last week.

By Louise Walsh

Three Irish music legends have backed Meath guitarist Jimmy Smyth's bid to get a nomination to contest the presidential election

Finbarr Furey, Mary Coughlan and Don Baker have all lent their support to the Navan-born musician who 'wants to Rock the Aras.'

As pressure mounts on would-be candidates to secure nominations from either county councils or TDs, the music icons have cited Jimmy as the man who deserves a shot at the elections.

Jimmy, whose band The Bogey Boys was once supported by U2 and who was once asked to join Thin Lizzy by Phil Lynott, has already gained the backing of jazz maestro Paddy Cole, Imelda May and Steve Wickham to try and woo the councils' nominations.

This week, musician and actor Don Baker who runs a pub in Trim said: "Jimmy would make a fantastic president.

"As a musician and lecturer, he's in touch with the youth of this country and what they need. He's full of integrity and on the pulse of this country.

"I've known him for 30 years and I can tell you he's revered by all who knows him as a musician, a person and a man who fights for the underdog.

I think he at least should get a shot at it.

Multi-talented folk musician Finbar Furey also threw his support behind Jimmy for securing a nomination - after revealing he was asked to run in the last Presidential election

"I've known him a long and he's a very clever and academic man who has a lot of ideals and is not afraid to share them. I think he deserves at the least, a shake of the whip.

"There was a few of us talking and I was asked to run in the last election but I said whoever runs has to have an academic mind and dedication for what is a lifetime job.

"I think the Irish people are clever enough to vote the right person in."

And friend Mary Coughlan has rowed in behind getting Jimmy a nomination.

Mary Coughlan
Mary Coughlan

"This has gone like a bit of a circus now really, hasn't it and we're not a reality show.

Jimmy is probably the best of all the would-be candidates. His campaign is really getting traction and I'd love him to even have a shot at the live debates because he has a lot of incredible points to make.

He is campaigning for the arts as well as to re-enact articles 47 and 48 of the constitution which he says dictate that "if an elected representative is doing a bad job, we can sack them on the spot - we don't need to wait until the next election to get rid of them.

He also claims that the word citizen has been replaced by customer on many government departmental websites.

In true Jimmy Smyth style, his latest post on Facebook sees him singing his manifesto to the tune of Rock the Kasbah, replacing the lyrics with Rock the Aras.


Over the years, the Grammy-nominated star has worked with artists including Van Morrison, Tony Childs, Roger Dalrey, Curtis Steigers, Chaka Khan, Lisa Stansfield, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Mary Coughlan and Roger Daltrey as well as the National Concert and RTE Orchestras.

He was even notoriously mentioned on the Late Lunch Show when Gay Byrne described legendary Rory Gallagher as Ireland's best guitarist and the Donegal man replied that there was a better guitarist from Navan called Jimmy Smyth.

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