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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: -1°C
Wanderley Massafelli/ Gavin Duffy
Presidential Race

Duffy says Higgins speaks to people's heads but he speaks to their hearts

The businessman also said he wouldn’t be a ‘Trump president’.

GAVIN DUFFY HAS said he speaks to people’s hearts, while President Michael D Higgins speaks to their heads.

Yesterday the businessman announced his intention to challenge Higgins for the presidency. He is seeking the support of four local authorities.

Speaking about why he thinks people should vote for him, Duffy told Morning Ireland: “You have to speak on behalf of the people of Ireland, I’m somebody who’s a professional speaker, that’s what I do and that’s my track record and I think I’ll be able to do that very well.

“I did say yesterday, I think President Higgins, if there’s a difference, I think he talks to our heads, I think I’d be slightly different and talk to people’s hearts.”

Duffy said the fact he is known as a former investor on reality TV show Dragons’ Dens has both pros and cons.

What am I? I’m somebody people know through Dragons’ Den which, to be honest with you, is as much a disadvantage as it is an advantage because people think, ‘Oh, reality TV, another Trump president’, I would be very, very different.

Duffy said he thinks he’s qualified for the role for a number of reasons, including the fact he has “sound judgement” and experience advising others.

Presenter Gavin Jennings then pointed out that Duffy has previously advised both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.


Duffy said his career involves “spotting potential in people – in emerging leaders, be they in corporate or communities, helping them achieve their potential, go back into their businesses or into their communities and do good”.

He said he would love to represent the people of Ireland.

I actually would love to be out meeting the people of Ireland, representing them, it’s something I look forward to, I’ve the energy for it. I will communicate on their behalf, I will express the mood of the country at times of national tragedy or triumph.

Both the Animal Rights Action Network and the Irish Council Against Blood Sports have criticised Duffy said he announced his intention to run.

In its statement, the council said animal welfare groups are “outraged” at Duffy’s presidential bid.

Duffy is a former president of the Hunting Association of Ireland and previously defended the Ward Union Hunt when the Green Party wanted to ban it.

When asked about this, Duffy said the hunt in question is “not a bloodsport” and that no deers are killed.

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