Defeated candidates united in praise for victorious Higgins

- Advertisement -

After an at times bruising campaign, the five defeated candidates were united in congratulating returning president Michael D Higgins.

All were fulsome in praise for Mr Higgins, and his wife Sabina, as they took to the stage in Dublin Castle after the president’s impassioned victory speech.

Second placed Peter Casey said: “I’d like to congratulate President Higgins and wish Sabina a wonderful seven years.

“I’m sure the sentiments you described so wonderfully there, I’m sure they are shared by everyone here – wishing you all the very, very best.”

Peter Casey
Peter Casey offered his congratulations to Mr Higgins (Niall Carson/PA)

“It’s been a real experience the past six weeks or so,” he said.

Gavin Duffy joked that he was glad that times allotted for speeches were not in proportion to the number of votes gained.

“Otherwise I would be departing straight away from the podium,” he said.

Mr Duffy said he did not regret standing.

“Was I disappointed? Yes. Did I have regrets? No,” he said.

He said there are “huge changes” facing workplaces in Ireland and around the world.

“I think it’s important we address those as a united society rather than allowing division,” he said.

Gavin Duffy
Gavin Duffy said he was disappointed with his result, but he does not regret standing (Niall Carson/PA)

She added: “The people who voted for me – thank-you for that.”

Ms Freeman also praised her fellow candidates.

“It’s not easy to have yourself scrutinised, criticised and sometimes brutalised – but you all showed great courage,” she said.

The defeated candidate said she had hopes to share a glass of wine with the five others who contested the election.

In the longest speech of any of the beaten candidates, Sean Gallagher expressed pride in the campaign he and his team had run.

Joan Freeman
Joan Freeman said she hoped to share a drink with the other candidates now the election race is over (Niall Carson/PA)

He said he wants an Ireland where “opportunity” wins out over “cynicism”.

“New ideas are driven by brave people willing to step into the arena rather than commentate from the side lines,” he said.

Sean Gallagher
Sean Gallagher voiced pride in his campaign (Niall Carson/PA)

Liadh Ni Riada said it was important the election was held, rather than allowing Mr Higgins to return to office unchallenged.

“The people of Ireland spoke today and spoke with a resounding yes to put Michael D Higgins back in office,” she said, congratulating the president.

The MEP said she “looked forward to the conversation about a united Ireland being firmly on the agenda” in the coming seven years.

Liadh Ni Riada
Liadh Ni Riada said holding the election was vital to challenge Mr Higgins (Niall Carson/PA)

“They must have a vote next time round,” she said, to loud cheers from her supporters.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.