Casey was only bit of life in ‘exceptionally dull campaign’ – John Paul Phelan
PETER Casey was the only bit of life in an “exceptionally dull campaign”, Minister of State and Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan said after more than one-in-four of local voters backed the controversial candidate as their number one choice for the Áras.
Michael D. Higgins comfortably retained the presidency as expected, but the surprise late surge in support Casey was the real story of the presidential campaign.
Minister Phelan said that while he wasn’t a supporter of Casey, he could understand why large numbers of people ended up voting for him.
“A lot of people this morning [are] blaming the media for giving him a lot of coverage, but in what was an exceptionally dull campaign he was the only bit of life,” he said.
“I mean, I don’t agree with this constant moan on social media that ‘shock horror’ 22% of Irish people are racist or something. No, some people felt he was discussing things that should be discussed. Others felt he’s a fellow who speaks his mind – which isn’t true, by the way because I don’t believe he believes any of the stuff he said in the election.
“And thirdly, people in a dull campaign thought he was the only one who was a bit different.”
The full results from Cillín Hill for the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency were: Michael D Higgins 52%, Peter Casey 28%, Seán Gallagher 7%, Liadh Ní Riada 5%, Joan Freeman 5%, and Gavin Duffy 2%.
Nationally, President Higgins claimed 56% of the vote.