Presidential candidate Gavin Duffy urges communities to rally together in south Tipperary

Eoin Kelleher


Eoin Kelleher


Presidential candidate Gavin Duffy urges communities to rally together in south Tipperary

Mr Duffy visited Tipperary town's Circle of Friends Cancer Support Centre on Sunday.

Presidential candidate Gavin Duffy continued on his campaign itinerary with a busy schedule in Tipperary all day Sunday.

During media interviews Mr Duffy committed to a more active, engaging and value-for-money presidency and to utilise his unique skill set and business acumen to help the country meet the challenges of the next seven years in a post-Brexit era.

His programme of engagements took him to Tipperary Town, Tipperary Racecourse and Clonmel.

He urged the local community to come out in force for the march in Tipp Town on October 20th and to rally behind businesses by supporting them and to assert their influence and not to be defeatist.

“I’m very conscious of the situation in Tipperary town and welcome the march on October 20th when the local community will come out to galvanise their support for their town. The first thing that has to happen for any town centre revival is for people to shop local. It’s not that they are necessarily going to other towns but the amount of purchases people make online has shot up so much.

“I have been involved over the last number of years in Enterprise Towns, going around the country, meeting traders and hearing their issues. I can’t and don’t want to promise a quick fix in this regard, but having a President that understands rural Ireland, was born on a farm, who still lives on a farm and understands the type of issues is important. I live in County Meath and it suffers exactly the same as you do in other rural areas around the country.

“I’m really getting worried about the growth, particularly of the greater Dublin areas. It’s almost getting to the point where the rest of Ireland is being left like a theme park for people who live in large cities to visit now and again during their holidays. For those of us who live in rural Ireland, we want towns like Tipperary to remain vibrant and the one thing I can say is that a President’s presence in towns like that and supporting the initiatives that breathe life back in to towns is very important.

“What I don’t agree with is shrugging and throwing our hands up and saying the world has changed and this is never going to be fixed. I would say please support the March4Tipp on October 20th and when people come out, you would be amazed what can be achieved if we foster and support our small shops and businesses,” urged the presidential candidate, in an interview with presenter Joe Pryce on Tipperary Mid-West Radio.

“If you don’t shop local you’ll lose your local community,” he cautioned.

Mr Duffy, accompanied by his wife, Orlaith Carmody took time out to meet and chat with the volunteers involved in the Circle of Friends, Cancer Support Centre in Tipperary Town. The importance and value of a vibrant voluntary ethic is something that both Gavin and Orlaith are acutely aware of and are anxious to encourage. At the Cancer Support Centre they met the founding figure, Jennifer Jones Hickey along with Pat Jones, Tom O Donoghue, Nora Hoare and Mary Teresa O’ Donnell.

In Clonmel Mr Duffy was greeted by an enthusiastic audience at Moyle Rovers GAA Club. Here, Gavin and Orlaith were put through their paces in an ‘On the Couch’ format and interviewed by Treasa Nic Dhiarmada and they later took a series of questions from the floor. This was familiar territory and home ground to Gavin Duffy’s Campaign Director, Kate Achenson who was buoyant about the positive reaction her candidate is getting around the county and the country in general.

Pledging a different kind of presidency that would make the office work for the people Mr Duffy questioned the stance of the current President on accountability and his broken promises over seeking a second seven year term.

“Why is he going for a second term? What is he looking to do in a second term? I have no difficulty whatsoever with his age, that’s not the issue. The need for more age-friendly and more care for our senior citizens is one of the pillars of my campaign. These are the people who after all built the country which we have today.

“My problem with the incumbent is that very often people stay too long in a job and let’s just say that if he decided to only do one term and keep his promise to the people of Ireland. He promised faithfully to the people of Ireland that he would only do one term and now he’s breaking that promise and the question I’m asking is why does he want to run again, what’s he going to do differently? I fear he has just become accustomed to the pay, the perks, the pension and the pomp of the office and that’s why from the outset I’ve been questioning the cost of the Áras,” said Mr Duffy, offering himself as a more active and engaging presidency.

“I think it’s a pity that he’s avoiding the media, avoiding debates and keeping the questions he can be asked to the minimum about a large unaudited spend that’s being going on in the Áras,” he concluded.