Dunphy knocks history of voting ‘gombeen men’

THE Irish electorate has a history of voting for “gombeen men and gombeen women” and “the wrong types”, controversial broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has said.

Mr Dunphy was speaking following the news that a reforming party of big-hitters including David McWilliams, Shane Ross and Fintan O’Toole, and of which Dunphy was a part, is no longer set to contest the general election.

Democracy Now was to stand on five core principles, which included a commitment to holding a referendum on the EU/IMF bailout, political reform and a public inquiry into the regulatory and governmental failures that caused the economic and banking crisis.

But although Mr Dunphy said there was a “terrible sense” among the people that there is no one to vote for, he said Democracy Now would not be in the running as they had “run out of time”. “We needed time to get people out to canvass, get posters up, there were practical difficulties and it would have been just about do-able by March 11.”

But Mr Dunphy said the crisis was not going to end “any time soon” and perhaps it was not the end of the party.

“We made a lot of progress in a short time, it was a good experience. It taught us what it involves to be a TD.”

Mr Dunphy said he believed those such as Shane Ross and cystic fibrosis campaigner Orla Tinsley, who had been poised to run, would be better than our current politicians.

“There are far too many who have no ability. We need reform and good governance and I think those people would serve the country better if they were in the Dáil than the politicians we have at the moment. They were outstanding people from all over the country. It did not get off the ground but I think we made a sensible decision and we were open and honest about it.”

Meanwhile, David McWilliams also defended the decision to kill off the campaign, citing a lack of time.

He said, however, he was offering free economic advice to independent candidates.

“Big parties can afford to pay a fortune for economic advice, but the little guys can’t. I am offering free advice to them as it is a crucial election issue and the little guy is at a complete disadvantage.

“The country is broken, we can sit back and sneer or get involved.”

Writing on his Twitter page, Irish Times journalist Fintan O’Toole apologised for the disappointment caused.

“Apologies to everyone who was hoping for an electoral initiative. I’ve never worked harder or been more disappointed. Nearly worked too,” he said.

Writing in his newspaper column about his decision he said he “was not ashamed of having tried”.

“I would be ashamed of having done it badly. I’m sure that the decision not to lead people on with false hopes is the right one, and I have no intention of revisiting that decision,” he said.

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