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Kenny Egan: Young people in my area 'see all politicians as bad news and gangsters'

The Olympic silver medallist was speaking to reporters in Dublin yesterday as he begins his campaign to get elected to South Dublin County Council.

Kenneth Egan launching his campaign on Monday
Kenneth Egan launching his campaign on Monday
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

KENNETH EGAN, THE high-profile Fine Gael local election candidate in Clondalkin, has said that a lot of young people in his area don’t vote because they see all politicians as “bad news and gangsters”.

The former boxer and Olympic silver medallist said he is hoping to get the vote out among young people in his area to go in the 23 May elections, as well as focus on issues such as drugs, alcohol and obesity during his campaign.

“I am gonna come to the people and try and help the people, the youth of the area, drugs, alcohol, obesity – all the things that are affecting, not only the area I’m living in, but the whole of the country.

“I’ve an interest in helping people now. If you had of asked the same question four or five year ago I would have gave you the two fingers, that’s the truth, because I had no interest in anything except drinking and having the craic. I am a different person now.”

Egan, who was announced as Fine Gael candidate on Monday, said that he has voted “once or twice” before, but due to his boxing commitments in recent years he did not know what was going on in Irish politics.

“So I don’t vote, I am not telling lies, I told you that from the start I’m gonna be honest,” he told reporters at an event in the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday.

“I said on the radio this morning there I hadn’t voted in recent years. I just hadn’t an interest. That’s the problem with the area I am going to be working in. A lot of people don’t vote, from 18-to-26-year-olds, because they see all politicians as bad news and gangsters, and I am gonna try and change that in my local area.”

Hard neck

Egan said that the feedback on his candidacy so far has been a mix of positive and negative, including on Twitter, but he said he is able to cope with the criticism.

“I’ve a hard neck. They’re just saying I havent a clue about politics, you know, the usual stuff, which is true like. I didn’t come into this saying I know everything about politics,” he said.

Egan said that he has been sober for the past three years and that his experiences of drink would allow him to communicate to young people about the dangers of alcohol abuse. He also said that he has been unemployed since he retired last February and that he would continue his boxing analysis appearances on RTÉ even if elected.

“Of course I will, definitely, yeah,” he said, adding: “I retired last February, hoping to get back into the high-performance [unit] as a coach, but they haven’t got the funding at the moment. So for me, to sit around now, on me ass, twiddling me thumbs and hoping for a job to turn up, I’m at nothing.”

Egan also dismissed comments from his former manager, Ken Bogle, that he is being used by Fine Gael, saying: “Well sure look, I’m a big boy now. He has been great over the years to me and hopefully like you know, I suppose – like I said I’ve to read the article – but we’ve worked well over the last 10, 12 years and I hope we’ll keep the relationship going.”

He added that Bogle, a former advisor to Bertie Ahern, has a Fianna Fáil background, saying: “I’m after going with Fine Gael so that’s probably after ruffling up his feathers but look that’s the end of it.”

Egan: “I’m not going to rely on me name to get me over the line”

Read: Fine Gael’s European election strategy is putting off some potential Fine Gael candidates

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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