Peter Joseph Casey
9 October 1957
|Education||St Columb's College|
|Alma mater||Aston University|
|Known for||Dragon on the Irish version of Dragons' Den, candidate in the 2018 Irish presidential election|
Peter Joseph Casey (born 9 October 1957) is an Irish entrepreneur and political candidate. He is the founder and former Executive Chairman of Claddagh Resources, a global recruitment and executive search business. From 2012 to 2014 he was a panellist on the RTÉ television programme Dragons' Den, in which he was one of the investors adjudicating business plan pitches.
He has run unsuccessfully for a number of political offices, including as a candidate in the 2018 Irish presidential election, coming second. and in April 2019, as a candidate for that year's European Parliament elections, in the Midlands-North-West constituency.
Early and personal life
Casey was born in Derry on 9 October 1957, the third of nine children (five boys and four girls). His mother Patsy Casey was deputy headmistress at Nazareth House Primary School and his father Leo was bursar at St Columb's College. Casey attended both schools before studying business administration, politics, and economics at Aston University in Birmingham.
He lived in Atlanta, Georgia, with his second wife Helen and their five children until 2016, when they moved to Greencastle, County Donegal. He suffers from degenerative disc disease and has been prescribed medical cannabis to counteract the nausea he experiences when taking opiates.
Casey joined Rank Xerox UK as a sales representative in 1979, and went on to win a national award for sales in his first year. He moved to Sydney in 1981, and was ranked in the top 5% of sales executives nationally. He became the youngest district manager in Rank Xerox and won Three Oceans Cup as top Sales Manager in Asia. In 1983, Casey joined Océ Reprographics as state manager for New South Wales. He then rejoined Rank Xerox in 1984 as a branch manager in Sydney, before making the decision to set up his first company, The Trinity Group, in 1985. The Trinity Group, a search and IT contracting firm based in Sydney, was one of five firms awarded the NSW Government tender to supply temporary staff to the New South Wales Government, the largest contract ever awarded in staffing at the time. Casey sold this business in 1992, and moved back to Ireland for six months before setting out for Atlanta, Georgia where he founded Network Resources which later became Claddagh Resources in 1996. Claddagh Resources place high-level executives across the globe for many Fortune 500 companies including Coca-Cola, SAP, Tata Consultancy Services, Oracle, IBM, and Ernst & Young. In 2000, the company established its European headquarters in Donegal which has recently expanded operations to a new Dublin office. Irish America Magazine named him as one of 2007's leading Irish American businessmen.
Ireland's version of the business-related TV programme Dragons' Den selected Casey to appear as an investor for the show's fifth and sixth series. Over the course of the series he made several investments.
In January 2015, Casey said he would consider running as a candidate at the next Irish general election, though he expressed uncertainty about which constituency he might choose. When pressed to name a constituency he thought he might select Donegal, where he had recently purchased a home, or somewhere in Dublin, where he intended to set up his latest business. "Realistically I'm going to be spending a lot of time in Dublin", Casey said at the time. Casey gave his opinion on the Fine Gael−Labour coalition to The Irish Times. "In fairness to the current Government I think they have performed fairly well", he said. "Some things they have done badly but overall I'd probably give them a B [grade]."
2016 Seanad campaign
He attempted to be elected to Seanad Éireann as part of the Industrial and Commercial Panel in 2016. At his Seanad campaign launch he said he intended to support foreign direct investment, indigenous business development and job creation. In the count, Casey received 14 votes; 113 were required to secure a seat.
2018 presidential campaign
On 30 August 2018, Casey announced his intention to seek a nomination for that year's Irish presidential election. He became the third 'dragon' from the Irish version of Dragons' Den to seek a nomination after Gavin Duffy and Seán Gallagher. Casey uploaded a promotional video entitled "Platform for President of Ireland" to YouTube. He secured the nominations of four local authorities; Kerry County Council, Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council and Tipperary County Council. He criticised incumbent President Michael D. Higgins for "extolling the virtues" of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.
On 17 October, Casey attracted a mixture of criticism and praise when he made comments on the Irish Independent's Floating Voter podcast regarding social housing that was offered to, and refused by, Irish Travellers in Thurles, County Tipperary. Casey described Irish Travellers as "basically people camping in someone else's land" who are "not paying their fair share of taxes in society". There were calls for Casey to withdraw from the race, including from Traveller activist group Pavee Point. Other candidates condemned Casey's comments. In the Dáil, Tánaiste Simon Coveney referred to Casey's comments as the "lowest common denominator politics" and defended the Government's decision to recognise Irish Travellers as an ethnic minority in 2017, in contrast to Casey's belief that Irish Travellers share their ethnicity with the general Irish population. Casey visited the Thurles housing development for himself on 18 October, under Garda protection, and faced demonstrations by Traveller activist groups. On 19 October, Casey released a statement announcing he was "taking the weekend off from the campaign to think carefully about whether to continue in the race", adding that "I do not want the people of Ireland to elect me as President of Ireland just based on one statement I made". He announced that he was staying in the presidential election. Before the traveler comments Casey found himself dead last in a pack of six candidates with 2 percent of support, he then shot up swiftly in support after the comments.
A day after the election, Casey indicated that he planned to join Fianna Fáil and run for one of the seats in the Donegal constituency in the next general election. Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins later stated on The Week in Politics that the Fianna Fáil ticket for the constituency was full, saying that Casey should "realise that you can't just rock up to political parties and think that you can get your way". Casey responded by saying "I'm 100% serious. If the consensus after talking to them is they don't want me, I’ll form a new party and I’ll call it the new Fianna Fáil." In February 2019 Casey said that he would run as an independent in the next general election.
2019 European parliament campaign
In April 2019 he announced he had handed in his nomination papers to contest the 2019 European Parliament election in the Midlands–North-West constituency. In May 2019 while making a speech in Dunboyne, County Meath during the campaign, Casey was filmed declaring "The face of Ireland is changing. People say ‘you’re racist’. Of course I'm racist, I'm a very proud Irish man". When questioned about this statement on The Floating Voter Podcast, a series run by the Irish Independent he said that he makes “no apologies” for describing himself as a racist and continued to criticise the EU’s policies on migration. He was not elected.
2020 General election campaign
He contested the 2020 general election as an independent candidate for the Donegal constituency, and also contested Dublin West, the constituency of incumbent Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. He received 213 first preference votes in Dublin West and was eliminated on the second count. In Donegal, he received 1,142 first preference votes and did not win a seat.
He has also published articles in newspapers and other news publications. Writing for the Irish Independent newspaper, Casey requested voting rights for Irish emigrants. He argued in the Sunday Independent that Ireland has the chance to be at the centre of an online education revolution by embracing massive open online courses (MOOCs). Writing on TheJournal.ie, Casey sounded a cautionary note on Bitcoin after the collapse of virtual currency exchange Mt. Gox. Writing in the Sunday Independent, he told how credit ratings agencies made Ireland's financial crisis "explode" and suggested how it might be stopped from happening again.
- Leahy, Pat; McGee, Harry (29 October 2018). "Higgins begins preparations for second term after landslide victory". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
- Quann, Jack. "Peter Casey confirms European Parliament run". Newstalk. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "Presidential candidate Peter Casey downsizes from €1.7m mansion to Donegal house with sea view". The Irish Independent. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- "Peter Casey says he wouldn't mind if his children married a Traveller". 8 November 2018.
- "Profiles". Irish Abroad.
- "Executive Profile". Bloomberg Businessweek.
- "Profile:Peter Casey". RTÉ Television.
- "ALL ABOUT PETER". Bank of Ireland. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013.
- Fennel, Hillary (14 April 2013). "This much I know: Peter Casey". Irish Examiner.
- Walsh, Jane (13 January 2015). "US-based Irish businessman to run for office as Independent candidate".
- "So who is presidential hopeful Peter Casey?". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- "Businessman Peter Casey seeks presidential nomination". RTÉ News. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- Peter Casey (30 August 2018). "Peter Casey for President of Ireland 2018" – via YouTube.
- "Peter Casey secures nomination to contest presidency". RTÉ News. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- "Higgins kept seat warm while being paid vast amounts of money". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- "'Appalling' and 'abhorrent': All five presidential rivals round on Casey over Traveller comments". TheJournal.ie. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- "Protests planned as presidential hopeful Peter Casey to visit Traveller homes site". Irish Independent. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "'Lowest common denominator politics' – Simon Coveney criticises Peter Casey's comments on Travelling Community". Irish Independent. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Protests as Casey visits housing estate for Travellers after controversial remarks". RTÉ News. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Peter Casey suspends campaign for presidency following controversial Traveller comments". Irish Independent. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
- "Peter Casey to remain in the race for Áras an Uachtaráin". RTÉ News. 21 October 2018.
- "As it happened: Presidential Debate 23 October 2018". Journal. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- "Exit polls: Michael D Higgins set for re-election; Peter Casey comfortable runner-up". Irish Examiner. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
- "'We're okay thanks': Fianna Fáil TDs pour cold water on Casey's plan to join party". TheJournal.ie. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- "'I'm 100pc serious – if they don't want me, I'll start the new Fianna Fáil' – Peter Casey". Irish Independent. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
- "Peter Casey confirms he will run for Dáil seat in Donegal". Donegal Democrat. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- "Casey and Boylan submit nomination papers for European elections". RTÉ News. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
- Ryan, Philip (22 May 2019). "The Floating Voter: European Parliament candidate Peter Casey has described himself as an 'Irish racist'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- https://www.thejournal.ie/winners-and-losers-local-and-european-elections-4661823-Jun2019/ From the Greens to exit polls: Here are the winners and losers of the elections
- "'Magee expansion is crucial to the growth of Derry' – Peter Casey". Derry Journal. 25 March 2014.
- Casey, Peter (29 September 2013). "Peter Casey: Without a vote, we emigrants have no voice in decisions that affect our return". Irish Independent.
- Casey, Peter (30 March 2014). "Ireland can play major role in online education revolution". Sunday Independent.
- Casey, Peter (18 March 2014). "Column: The two sides of bitcoin – is this virtual currency a boon or a threat?". Business ETC.
- Casey, Peter (18 May 2014). "EU could give US ratings agencies run for their money". Sunday Independent.