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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Screengrab TV3 George Hook
Election 2016

George Hook is considering a Dáil bid as the 'Michael Collins Fine Gael' candidate

The Newstalk broadcaster and rugby analyst could run in Dún Laoghaire.

BROADCASTER GEORGE HOOK is considering running for the Dáil as the ‘Michael Collins Fine Gael’ candidate.

Hook is a longtime supporter of Fine Gael but has said he has become disillusioned with the party in recent years and is mulling a Dáil bid as an independent in Dún Laoghaire.

Writing in the Sunday Independent Life magazine yesterday, the 74-year-old said he wants to appeal “across the party-political divide to the middle classes, who see their views and beliefs are no longer represented”.

He said his priority would be the issue of homelessness, saying he would demand the appointment of a TD with complete control over the issue:

Council employees would be required to work a seven-days-a-week rota to get boarded-up, empty properties back on the market. There would be an immediate purchase of modular housing for urban areas to clear the backlog.

In addressing the issue, Hook said that Ireland should refuse to take any migrants from the Middle East until the domestic housing crisis is solved. 

Hook presents The Right Hook programme on Newstalk and was until recently a longtime rugby analyst with RTÉ. He had previously said he planned to retire by September 2016, but has since cancelled the plans following threats from his wife.

The outspoken pundit said he would campaign for no tax reductions until the country is self-sufficient, but added that he would not increase wealth taxes, saying they are already the highest in the OECD.

Hook said that welfare benefits should be taxed and means-tested, ending the universality of social welfare.

Prior to the general election he said he would commit to not entering any coalition arrangement with Sinn Féin or the hard-left. He added:

The promise would be clear and unequivocal. The government supported by Hook would, like my hero Winston Churchill, promise “blood, toil, tears and sweat” until we take our place amongst the nations of the Earth, fearless and free.

A Dáil bid in Dún Laoghaire would pit Hook against his former Newstalk boss Frank Cronin who is running for Renua.

The constituency is a four-seater that is effectively three seats at the next election because Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett is automatically re-elected.

Fine Gael is running incumbent TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor and councillor Maria Bailey. Labour is running Carrie Smyth in place of the retiring Eamon Gilmore. People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd-Barrett is seeking to retain his seat.

Fianna Fáil is running councillors Mary Hanafin and Cormac Devlin. The Greens are running Ossian Smyth, Sinn Féin’s candidate is Shane O’Brien, and Sunday Independent columnist Carol Hunt is running for the Independent Alliance.

Read: Willie O’Dea made some startling revelations on TV3 last night

Read: ‘Outrageous accusation’: George Hook says he isn’t controversial just to wind people up

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