The plot thickens as Seán Gallagher thrashes around, trying to put the best possible spin on his Fianna Fáil fundraising activities.
Here’s what he told Rachael English on Morning Ireland five days ago:
English: How many people did you invite?
Gallagher: I think I mentioned to possibly three or four people, and I have no idea to this day whether or not they made a donation whatsoever.
Which is odd, wouldn’t you agree, considering the fact that one donor says Gallagher personally came to his home and collected a €5,000 political donation in return for a promise to meet the Taoiseach. First dismissing this assertion as a smear, Gallagher then conceded on last night’s Frontline debate, that he might indeed have collected an envelope, er, cheque, from convicted fuel smuggler, Hugh Morgan, and delivered it to a fundraiser for Brian Cowen.
I never knew anyone who could buy access to the prime minister. Did you? The old people who raised me would have called this corruption and I would have difficulty disagreeing with them, yet the man who wishes to become our president sees no problem with it.
This is the independent candidate, may I just point out? No party affiliations. Clean. Untainted. Unconnected to the crookery and cronyism of the party that destroyed our economy and our lives through its corruption. Even more remarkable is the fact that a man with only sporadic connections to Fianna Fáil, as he described them himself, was given authority to offer a convicted smuggler private access to our prime minister in return for money.
The other main plank of Seán Gallagher’s campaign is his much-vaunted business acumen and commercial track record.
We now discover that SmartHomes is in fact an electrical wholesaler and electrician service. They’ll wire your house for phone, TV, audio, video and internet.
They sell you coaxial cable and èlectronic gadgets bought off the internet. And for this they received a huge start-up grant.
By an extraordinary coincidence, my home is wired for phone, TV, audio, video and internet as well, and I didn’t have to seek help from SmartHomes or anyone else, because a child could do it. In all likelihood, your house is the same. In fact, with the new technology now available, much of this is now done wirelessly, rendering the service unnecessary. So what exactly was Seán Gallagher doing selling coaxial and CAT-5 cable to people, telling them it was high technology?
Look at their (really bad) website. Here’s what they offer:
Bronze package. Sockets, cables and plastic back boxes that go into your wall.
Silver package . Speaker cables and sockets.
Gold package. Speaker cable in more than one room.
Impressive or what? They also sell some televisions and speakers.
This is the high-tech business that Seán Gallagher founded.
This is our future president.