Sean Gallagher vows to work with Northern Ireland for a united Ireland if elected
Sean Gallagher has pledged to campaign for a united Ireland if he wins the Irish presidential race to Aras an Uachtarain (president’s residence).
Businessman Gallagher is the second favorite at 5/1 behind current President Michael D. Higgins who is campaigning to retain his seat as a hot odds-on favorite at 1/6.
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The odds mean that if you bet on Higgins you have to lay €6 to win €1, whereas a bet on Gallagher costs €1 to win €5.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Irish edition of The Times of London, Gallagher pledged that he would campaign for a united Ireland firstly by speaking to local authorities in the North.
He said, “There is an important piece of work to be done now in relation to Northern Ireland. It is a process, building on what Mary and Martin McAleese did. Some people would say, ‘Well it is not in the constitution as a role’ but they made it happen.
“I think we will see a united Ireland in my life. Partition never served Ireland in the past and I do not believe it will serve Ireland in the future.
“The work now that needs to happen before we can unite territories and jurisdictions, we need to unite communities and individuals. It is about building contact, strengthening relationships and building a foundation of trust.”
Gallagher also said that Britain’s decision to leave the EU was a mistake, but it shouldn’t hinder the effort for warmer relationships between Ireland and the U.K.
He said, “Irrespective of the outcome of Brexit and the ramifications for Ireland as a result, we need to continue to strengthen our relationship with our neighbors in the U.K.”
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Higgins, 77, has the support of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour which are not running any of their own party candidates. He has a few critics for running again when he said in his first campaign he would settle for one seven-year term as president.
Gallagher, 56, an independent, was second in the 2011 presidential election when a fake tweet broadcast on RTE television accusing him of fundraising for Fianna Fail cost him votes.
There are long odds for the four other candidates – businessman Gavin Duffy 58, is 14/1, suicide intervention charity founder Senator Joan Freeman, 60, is 25/1, Sinn Fein’s Liadh ni Riada, 51, is 33/1, and businessman Peter Casey, 60, is 66/1.
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