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Gallagher doesn't rule out having another run for President

Asked by Gay Byrne if he’d do it all over again, the former Dragons’ Den panellist – and soon-to-be new dad – simply says: “Who knows?”

Sean Gallagher:
Sean Gallagher: "I really wanted to do for enterprise and jobs what Mary McAleese had done for the peace process."
Image: RTÉ

FORMER PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Sean Gallagher has not ruled out a second attempt at running for Ireland’s highest office.

In an interview to be broadcast on TV tomorrow evening – the first since the end of the Presidential campaign that saw Gallagher finish second to Michael D Higgins – the former Dragons Den investor said: “Who knows?”

The 50-year-old said public life was not his priority for the time being, as he was more focussed on beginning a family – revealing that his wife Trish is expecting the couple’s first child next March.

The Cavan native, a former member of Fianna Fáil’s national executive, ran as an independent candidate in last year’s election and led the polls until the last week of campaigning before a high-profile TV debate saw him come under fire for his former role as a party fundraiser.

“I had a wonderful experience,” Gallagher said, referring to that campaign, in spite of the scrutiny he came under. “I met some of the most amazing people.

“2,500 people joined my campaign and campaigned every night for me. I had an army of wonderful volunteers. I was sorry for them in the end. I kicked myself for them,” Gallagher said in the interview, conducted by Gay Byrne.

It was the only time in the campaign that I got emotional and upset was when I addressed a couple of hundred of them, who were fathered after the campaign, and I said, ‘I’m really sorry that I let you guys down.’ And they said, ‘You haven’t let anyone down.’

Gallagher added that he did not consider last year’s campaign to be a failure, and that it would only have been a failure if he had had “the desire to stand, to have wanted to make a difference, and not to have had the courage to stand.”

“I really wanted to do for enterprise and jobs what Mary McAleese had done for the peace process,” he said.

I got to head the polls a few days out from the election. So I think it was a great success, albeit the last week didn’t come the way we would have wanted it.

‘The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne’, featuring Sean Gallagher, airs tomorrow night at 10:30pm on RTÉ One.

Previously: Gallagher: RTÉ went ‘into defence mode like Catholic church’ after ‘Twittergate’

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Gavan Reilly

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