Sean Gallagher has refused to blame Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein for costing him the Presidential election.
Gallagher was odds on favourite to win the race for the Aras until a dramatic claim by McGuinness on live television last Monday.
The Gallagher bid was effectively taken out by a verbal bullet when McGuinness revealed that the independent candidate had acted as a Fianna Fail bagman three years earlier.
The Dragons Den TV star was forced to admit that he had collected money for Fianna Fail from convicted criminal Hugh Morgan around the time of a 2008 fundraiser in Dundalk.
Voters deserted Gallagher in their thousands after the claim was substantiated with pundits adamant that the late switch in support, most to winner Michael D Higgins, was the biggest in the history of the State.
McGuinness didn’t win the election on the back of his revelation but he did enough damage to cost Gallagher the Presidency.
“Tonight is not a night for blame, tonight is a night for celebration,” said Gallagher late on Friday night as he conceded the election to Higgins.
“Tonight is not about me, tonight is about celebrating the election of Michael D Higgins as our next president.”
Irish voters haven’t seen the last of Gallagher however, despite his very public humiliation.
Campaign workers have confirmed that he is likely to run for the Irish parliament in the next general election and may consider another bid for the presidency in 2018.