by Ceile Varley
Independent Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher has said that allowing young people access to education and employment is key for Ireland’s recovery.
Speaking to the College View, Mr Gallagher said, “There are two things we need for everyone – one is education and access to education and skills, the other is employment. If we had the skills or access to skills we could generate that employment.”
He went on, “I believe in the lowest level of access to education to make it easier for as many people as possible.”
He visited DCU for Clubs & Socs day. He said, “I love DCU, the buzz is great here. This is the future, we always talk about creating the future but this is it here, you guys in college.”
He went on, “Many of my volunteer team are from DCU – they volunteered when they heard me speak here last year. They’re so young and fresh, so dynamic.”
He refused to confirm whether he preferred DCU or UCD, saying “Don’t be asking me difficult questions!”
He defended his poster free campaign, saying that the reaction from local county councils has been great.”I’m getting a huge response from people. It’s a waste of tax payers money – you’re paying for it remember!”
When asked to rate his chances he said, “How do you rate them? I think they’re good, it’s a real opportunity for something fresh. Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson have transformed the role and I want to do that as well.”
He said, “I’m very confident. I’m getting a great reception everywhere.”
Mr Gallagher co-founded technology company Smarthomes. He was a Dragon on RTE programme Dragons’ Den and worked on different County Enterprise Boards and Chambers of Commerce around the country.
He was first involved with Ógra Fianna Fáil in Cavan in the 1980s. Later he was commissioned to write the FF Government’s first alcohol education programme and worked as Political Secretary for then Health Minister Dr. Rory O’Hanlon.
In 2007 Mr Gallagher managed former Ceann Comhairle Seamus Kirk’s election campaign and went on the party’s National Executive.
Mr Gallagher is no longer a member of Fianna Fáil. Bystanders on Clubs and Socs day observed that Mr Gallagher seemed to make a point of avoiding the Fianna Fail stand. One student said, “He went to all the other tables. I guess he can’t afford to be seen anywhere near (the stand).”