Duffy intends to finance the bid of Áras with a loan of € 750,000

Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman at the Meath County Offices. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Gavin Duffy and Joan Freeman at the Meath County Offices. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Cormac McQuinn

Presidential hope Gavin Duffy has plans to take a loan of up to € 750,000 to finance his potential election campaign.

The star and businessman of & # 39; Dragons & # 39; Den & # 39; revealed that he had received approval for the mortgage on his parental home, but said he had not yet withdrawn it.

Duffy is looking for the support of council members to come to the ballot to challenge President Michael D Higgins in the upcoming elections.

He needs the support of four local authorities to get a nomination and made pitches yesterday to Meath, Kildare and the provincial councils of Westmeath.

In a speech to councilors in Meath, Mr. Duffy emphasized his commitment to challenge the presidency. He said that taking out a mortgage on his parental home showed that he had the conviction to push himself forward.

He said that he runs the risk of being accused of big business & # 39; behind the back if he does not fund the campaign himself and said he is blessed & # 39; blessed & # 39; is to have a wife, Orlaith Carmody, who & # 39; did not question us & # 39 ;. to take out a mortgage on our parental home ".

Later, Mr. Duffy told the Irish Independent that he had received a letter from a lender for € 750,000, although he confirmed that he still had to withdraw the loan.

He reiterated his attachment to an open and transparent campaign and said he intends to publish a "full disclosure document" describing his loans and tax compliance if he receives the required support to get the ballot.

Previously, Mr. Duffy told council members that the Irish people will not elect Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump in October. He emphasized the soft power & # 39; from the Irish presidency.

Council members in Meath also heard from Senator Joan Freeman, mental health promoter, who insisted that, although she was a member of Oireachtas, she was not a politician.

The founder of Pieta House said that as president, she would be a "vote for the people of Ireland".

As a practicing Catholic, she also spoke about Pope Francis' visit and said she was encouraged by the "warm, dignified and respectful" welcome that the Irish people had given him.

Freeman said, "I think this is the last chance that the Irish people will give the Catholic Church.

"We have to stop making these scandals drip," she added, there had to be "complete and open disclosure" and as soon as there is transparency, a new relationship between Church and State can be developed.

Another presidential hopeful, journalist Gemma O & # 39; Doherty, denied allegations that she is anti-vaccination and said that her views on this and other issues have been completely taken out of context … & # 39;

She said that corruption, and no vaccines, "keeps me awake at night."

Four potential candidates – Mr. Duffy, Mrs. Freeman, musician Jimmy Smyth and artist Kevin Sharkey – also presented their case for appointment to the County Council of Kildare.

Mr. Sharkey told the meeting he suffered abuse in his childhood but had triumphed over his consequences, being neither "victim" nor "survivor".

Aldermen in Westmeath also heard about candidates.

Irish Independent

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