|Born||7 July 1962|
|Residence||Delgany, County Wicklow, Ireland|
|Education||Teagasc Agricultural College|
|Known for||Co-founder of Smarthomes|
|Television||Dragons' Den (2009–11)|
Charity Lords of the Ring (2009)
|Political party||Independent (since 2011)|
Fianna Fáil (until 2011)
(m. 1997; div. 1999)
Patrica Gallagher (m. 2010)
Seán Diarmiud Gallagher (born 7 July 1962) is an Irish businessman and reality television personality. He was a co-founder in 2000 of Smarthomes, which after initial success, failed in 2008–2010, and Gallagher departed in 2010–11. He was as a panellist on RTÉ's Dragons' Den from 2009–2011. Gallagher was an active member of Fianna Fáil for 30 years from 1981–2011, and sat on its National Executive twice (from 1985–87, and from 2009–11). He spent much of his career before Smarthomes working in Fianna Fáil, and in the Irish public service. Gallagher failed in his 2011 presidential election bid, in which, despite his Fianna Fáil history, he stood as an Independent candidate, and finished second to Michael D. Higgins. Gallagher came third in a second 2018 presidential election bid.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Public service career
- 3 Business career
- 4 Political career
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Bibliography
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and education
Seán Gallagher was born in Monaghan town, County Monaghan in July 1962,[a] but moved a "few years later", where he was raised in a family of six in Ballyhaise, County Cavan. Gallagher was effectively blind up until age 3 as a result of congenital cataracts. However, while corrective surgery improved his sight, Gallagher describes himself as being "visually impaired".
From September 1974 to June 1980, Gallagher was educated at Saint Mary's National School in Glin and Saint Patrick's College in Cavan. Following his Leaving Certificate in June 1980, he attended Teagasc Agricultural College, in Ballyhaise, County Cavan where he received a National Certificate in Agriculture in June 1981. He said that he then worked on the college farm until a car accident in June 1983, which required a period of rehabilitation.[b] In September 1985, Gallagher went to Maynooth University where he earned a Diploma in Youth Work and Community Development in June 1987.
During his tenure as Assistant CEO[c] of the Louth Country Enterprise Board (1995–2000), Gallagher studied for a Diploma in Management in the Dundalk Institute of Technology from 1997–1999, after which Gallagher then completed an MBA in 2000, at the University of Ulster.
Public service career
Much of Gallagher's early career from circa 1988 to June 2000, from when he was age 26 to when he was age 38, involved working with various Irish State bodies and departments. It is not clear whether these roles are full-time or part-time, and the non-public service activities he was engaged in (e.g. he is recorded as stating that he was a fitness instructor and massage therapist in the 1990s).
From 1988 to 1990, Gallagher said he worked as a Project Co-ordinator for the National Youth Council of Ireland and the Department of Health, and that he was the author of Drink Awareness for Young People, Ireland's first national alcohol education programme. From 1990 to 1993, Gallagher worked as a full-time political advisor to then Fianna Fáil TD and Minister for Health[d] Rory O'Hanlon. After O'Hanlon lost his cabinet minister position when Albert Reynolds came to power in Fianna Fáil in 1992, Gallagher said that he was an Enterprise Officer for the Blanchardstown Area Development Partnership from 1993 to 1995.
In May 1995, aged 32, Gallagher moved to Blackrock in County Louth where he served as the Assistant CEO[c] of the Louth County Enterprise Board. His role was to promote and support the development of micro businesses including the provision of financial support, training and mentoring. As part of this role, he served as a Director of the Louth Tourism Company and Louth Leader Rural Development Agency.
Smarthomes Limited (2000–2010)
In June 2000, Gallagher, aged 38, left the Louth County Enterprise Board ("LCEB") to set up a company called Home Wiring Systems Limited ("HWSL") with electrical tool-maker, Derek Roddy. HWSL's plan was to provide the electrical systems modern homes needed (e.g. broadband systems, heating systems, alarm systems etc.), and HWSL would be, in effect, an electrical contractor. In 2001, HWSL got a start-up loan of €25,395 from the LCEB.[e] In September 2002, Gallagher and Roddy decided to re-brand HWSL and transferred HWSL into a new limited liability company, called Smarthomes Limited. Smarthomes won business awards, including the Deloitte "Fast 50 Award" in 2005, and Gallagher was a finalist in the 2006 Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year". The company raised €750,000 in loans from Business Expansion Scheme ("BES") investors in 2005, and raised another €830,000 in grant-loans from Irish State agencies during 2004-2007.
Smarthomes turnover grew from circa €1 million in 2004, to circa €7 million by 2006, when it made a peak pre-tax profit of circa €500,000, a 7% margin. In December 2006, the then Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Bertie Ahern opened their new offices, at which Gallagher announced he planned to invest €10 million and create 100 jobs. However, in 2007, the business broke–even, and in 2008, the business lost €652,000, and it lost €540,000 in 2009. Despite the losses, filed accounts showed that Gallagher and Roddy drew €542,500 from the company in 2008, and €316,000 in 2009.[f] There were issues with the BES investors who had not realised that the company was paying rent and royalties to the Directors, however, by March 2010, they had converted their loans into equity in the company, and a new plan agreed, with the premises changed and patents returned from the Directors to the company. Gallagher left Smarthomes in 2010 and sold his shares in 2011.
State Boards (2007–2012)
On 13 December 2007, Fianna Fáil Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan appointed him to the Board of InterTradeIreland, a North-South Irish trade body, until 2011. There was some controversy that his appointment came after the successful re-election of Fianna Fáil parliamentary party Chairman, Séamus Kirk, in the May 2007 general election, for whom Gallagher was Director of Elections; and also that InterTradeIreland invested €41,970 into Smarthomes in 2007, and that Gallagher had attended only 22 of the 36 Board meetings during his tenure.
In January 2010, after Gallagher was elected to the Fianna Fáil National Executive in 2009, Mary Coughlan appointed him to the Board of FÁS, until 2012. In June 2010, Gallagher was also appointed by Fianna Fáil Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, to be Chair of the Drogheda Port Company, which he held until 2012.
Irish Television (2009–2016)
In October 2008, Gallagher was announced as an investor on the RTÉ One version of Dragons' Den. He continued as an investor in the 2009, 2010 and 2011 series. In August 2009, he took part in the Charity Lords of the Ring series, an amateur celebrity boxing reality television show, representing the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, and went on to win the show and earn €17,350 for his charity.[h] In March 2016, Gallagher appeared as a celebrity chef on TV3's cooking show, The Restaurant.
General Consulting (since 2009)
As Smarthomes was wound-down in 2009, Gallagher began to concentrate on business consulting, motivational speaking and journalism, with resultant fees paid through his firm, Beech House Training and Consultants Limited ("BHTC"). BHTC came under scrutiny during the 2011 Presidential campaign, and in October 2011, Professor of Management at UCD, Niamh Brennan, said that she had a "bad vibe", having read the BHTC accounts.[i] The accounts also indicated that Gallagher had funded at least one of his Dragons' Den investments through BHTC fees,[j] and journalists questioned the level of Gallagher's net worth. In February 2018, Gareth Sheridan, the 28-year-old founder of vitamin patch start-up Nutribrand, appointed Gallagher to its Board. In September 2018, it was reported that Gallagher was one of two Directors of a regional industrial-office leasing company called Clyde Real Estate, and that his consulting company for motivational speaking was, Business Matters Limited.
Fianna Fáil (1981–2011)
The Candidate Profile for Connacht/Ulster from the 9th Ógra Fianna Fáil youth conference in November 1984, lists Seán Gallagher age 22, and states that he joined Fianna Fáil in 1981, and by 1984 was Chair of Cavan Ógra Comhairle Dáilcheantair (constituency council). Various references are made to Gallagher later becoming the national head of Ógra Fianna Fáil, and in a letter in 2009 to the Fianna Fáil party when seeking election to the Fianna Fáil National Executive, Gallagher said: "I first served on the National Executive with Charlie Haughey from 1985 to 1987 when I was head of Ógra Fianna Fáil nationally". After leaving Ogra, Gallagher said: "I later worked full time for the party in Fianna Fáil headquarters, supporting members like yourself in raising much-needed funds for the work of the party."
From 1990 to 1993, Gallagher worked as a full-time political advisor to then Fianna Fáil TD and Minister for Health[d] Rory O'Hanlon. O'Hanlon was part of Charles Haughey's cabinet, and lost his cabinet minister position when Albert Reynolds came to power in Fianna Fáil in 1992. In October 2011, Gallagher said of his time with O'Hanlon: "I had a network of contacts built up within departments so good that other ministers would ring me to get things done. I just knew my way around the system". In October 2011, Gallagher stated that he: "... did not have any connection with the party between 1993 [...] and 2007 when he acted as a campaign manager for Louth’s Séamus Kirk".
In June 2006, Gallagher, while still CEO of SmartHomes, became Director of Elections for Fianna Fáil Louth TD and parliamentary party Chairman, Séamus Kirk, whose seat was under threat from Sinn Féin. In the May 2007 general election, Kirk was successfully re-elected and topped the poll, even beating his fellow Fianna Fáil running mate, the then Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern. In July 2008, Gallagher hosted a €5,000 per-head fund-raising dinner for 40 people in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk, County Louth for the new Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. The event became a source of controversy in the 2011 presidential election as to whether Gallagher was specifically requesting, and collecting, cheques, or whether they were voluntary.
In 2009, Gallagher campaigned, and was successfully elected to the National Executive of Fianna Fáil representing the Louth branch. On 5 January 2011, he formally resigned from the National Executive. Gallagher had also resigned from his local Louth Fianna Fáil Ravensdale Cummann in March 2010.
2011 presidential campaign
In May 2011, it was reported that Gallagher would likely seek a nomination in the 2011 Irish presidential election. In June 2011, it was reported Gallagher approached Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members to run as an Independent candidate, but with a "semi-detached" relationship to the party. In June 2011, he received the fourth and final required nomination, of a local council, and he handed in his nomination papers on 27 September 2011. Gallagher was one of seven candidates, and launched his campaign at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin on 2 October 2011. Throughout his campaign, Gallagher adopted the use of social media as an alternative to posters. He had the highest number of followers of the candidates on Facebook, and the second highest on Twitter.
On 25 September 2011, the first of six major RED C and MRBI opinion polls (see main Wikipedia article) in the campaign, ranked Gallagher 2nd last at 11%. The first of eight television debates took place on 30 September 2011, and appearing on The Late Late Show alongside the other candidates, Gallagher confirmed that he came from "the Fianna Fáil gene pool". The Irish Times described his performance as: "he struggled to give his idea play". On 6 October 2011, the second main opinion poll, from RED C, ranked Gallagher 2nd, behind Higgins, at 20%.
As Gallagher rose in the polls in October, scrutiny came on his business dealings, and Fianna Fáil heritage (which were linked via State grants, and State Board appointments). Attention came to the €830,000 in State grants Smarthomes received, which exceeded to the total profits the company made for Gallagher;[f] and that his previous employer, the LCEB, had seed-funded his business with €25,395; and that Gallagher had tried to avoid repaying this seed-funding.[e] His appointment to three State Boards, some after being elected to the Fianna Fáil National Executive in 2009, were noted, however, Gallagher responded that he donated some of the State Board fees to charity. After avoiding criticising Fianna Fáil, Gallagher said: "the party had moved away from the grassroots". His post-Smarthomes dealings revealed inappropriate Director loans of €82,829,[i] which had to be repaid. Journalists questioned whether he was a millionaire, and noted some Dragons' Den investments were paid via fees.[j]
After three further television debates on 4, 11 and 12 October 2011, a 16 October RED C poll, ranked Gallagher 1st with 39% of the poll, with Higgins 2nd with 27%. After three television and radio debates on 18, 22 and 24 October, Gallagher would maintain this rank, and increase polling to 40% by the final RED C poll on 22 October 2011, and the final MRBI poll on 23 October 2011.
On Monday, 24 October, three days before the election, Gallagher suffered a severe setback in the final debate on Pat Kenny's The Frontline, watched by an audience of 900,000. Martin McGuinness said that he had been contacted by an unnamed man (later verified as fuel-seller, Hugh Morgan), who would confirm that Gallagher had collected a cheque for €5,000 after a 2008 Fianna Fáil fund-raiser, which Gallagher had previously denied. Later in the show, Kenny, read out a tweet live on air, subsequently proven to be from an anonymous source, that the unnamed man would hold a press conference next day.[k] McGuinness resumed his attack, and Gallagher, acknowledging he knew the man, called him a "convicted criminal and fuel smuggler". Gallagher then addressed the audience and, as the Irish Times would later chronicle: "he also made comments that had very unfortunate overtones for a man denying Fianna Fáil connections – including 'no recollection' and 'if he gave me an envelope'".
On 25 October, Hugh Morgan made a statement claiming Gallagher collected the cheque from him at Morgan Fuels in Armagh. Gallagher denied this event occurred. Martin McGuinness said that he had "done a service" to the Irish people in bringing the affair to light. Further scrutiny came on the accounts of his consulting business, BHTC, from audience questions the previous night, and his Director's loan of €82,829[i] from BHTC. On 25 October, UCD Professor Niamh Brennan described the BHTC accounts to The Irish Times as having a "bad vibe". On 25 October, on Pat Kenny's radio show, Gallagher questioned the motives of an audience member who asked about the €82,829[i] loan on The Frontline, however, a few minutes later, Glenna Lynch, a then-unknown housewife and mother of three with no political affiliations,[l] called into the show to reveal herself as that audience member saying: "I think it's extraordinary that Seán believes normal people, voters, don’t have the right to ask a question".
On 27 October 2011, Gallagher received 28.5% of first preference votes in the election, leaving him in second place behind Michael D. Higgins. On 30 October, The Guardian, chronicling the reasons for Gallagher's fall in support, reported that a final RTÉ poll showed that 28% of Irish voters changed their mind in the last week of the campaign, with 58% of those switching from Gallagher.
On 7 March 2012, the Irish Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld Gallagher's complaint about unfair treatment regarding how RTÉ handled the unverified tweet on the final Pat Kenny debate. On 19 December 2017, it was reported that RTÉ agreed to pay Gallagher a sum of €130,000 as part of a confidential legal settlement arising from the final Pat Kenny debate.
2018 presidential campaign
In August 2018, Gallagher announced that he would seek a nomination to run for president again and contest the 2018 presidential election. On 10 September 2018, with the support of four county councils, Gallagher became the second candidate in the 2018 election to secure a nomination, after the incumbent Michael D. Higgins (who has the right to nominate himself). On 16 September 2018, the second of 5 major opinion polls, ranked Gallgher a distant second place with 15%, compared to Higgins at 67%; which was to be the highest polling Gallagher would reach in the campaign.
On 23 September 2018, in an interview with the Irish Independent, when asked if he had campaigned on the social issues he had made part of his presidential platform, Gallagher replied: "No, I didn't actively campaign....I can't campaign on every issue". When asked about what he would do with the €130,000 settlement he won from RTE (see above), he replied: "The money is there for my kids' education".
Gallagher raised the expenses of the office as an issue, and on 29 September 2018 told the Irish Independent that he would stay in Irish embassies when abroad rather than luxury hotels. On the first radio debate on 10 October 2018, Gallagher said he was concerned at the "extravagance attached to the office", and that "We’ve heard stories of €3,000 a night hotels, the issue for us as taxpayers, we’re not in a position to see these figures". On 12 October 2018, Gallagher called for a public audit of all presidential expenses, which the State rejected as already covered under existing transparency guidelines. On 12 October 2018, Gallagher praised Higgins calling him an "inspiring politician", that the people of Ireland were tired of negative politics, and that Gallagher wanted to "succeed Michael D, not replace".
On 10 October 2018, the Irish Times when reviewing the candidates campaign videos, described Gallagher's video as an "electrifying exercise in grand patriotic baloney", and that it was "Fashioned lovingly from the finest garbage". On 15 October 2018, the Irish Times reported Gallagher wrote to Higgins in the Aras regarding his inability to attend all televised debates calling Higgins "insulting to the people of Ireland and shows contempt for the integrity of our electoral process". The final major opinion poll before the election placed Gallagher second, but his polling had fallen to 11%, with Higgins at 69%.
On 26 October 2017, Gallagher received 6.41% of the first preference vote, which ranked him in third place behind Peter Casey with 23.25%, and Michael D. Higgins with 55.81%.
Gallagher married Irene McCausland in 1997, while he was working with the Louth Country Enterprise Board, and they divorced and annulled in 1999. In 2010, he married Patricia "Trish" O'Connor, a cosmetic company representative, from Kanturk, Co Cork. They used to live in Blackrock, County Louth, but now live in Delgany, County Wicklow, and have two children. Gallagher's profile in the Board report of the InterTradeIreland 2007 accounts, noted that Gallagher was a 1st dan black-belt in both Judo and Karate.
- Gallagher, Sean (2018). Secrets to Success: Inspiring Stories from Leading Entrepreneurs. Mercier Press Limited. ISBN 978-1781175255.
- Several articles on Seán Gallagher list him incorrectly as being born in Ballyhaise, County Cavan; however, he was born in 17 Devin Reilly Terrace in Monaghan.
- In interviews, Gallagher refers to his year-long recovery from the car accident as being motivated by a new-found commitment to physical fitness.
- The InterTradeIreland Annual report of 2007, listed Gallager as Deputy CEO of the Board from 1995-2000, however, Gallagher seems to use the term A/CEO, or Assistant CEO most often.
- Gallagher says in interviews that it was while he was working at the Department of Health that he met Rory O'Hanlon
- The Louth County Entreprise Bord ("LCEB") seed-loan would be a source of controversy during the 2011 Presidential election as it was revealed that Smarthomes asserted that the loan was not repayable as it was "left" in HWSL; however in an RTÉ interview during the campaign, Gallagher stated that when the LCEB asserted their rights in 2005, that a confidential settlement was reached in 2008. On 12 October 2011, Gallagher stated on RTÉ's Drivetime program that: "If I was doing it again perhaps I would have done it differently."
- Journalists revealed the Smarthomes accounts showed that the combined Irish State grant loans of €830,000, and the €750,000 of BES investor loans, exceeded the total cumulative profits that Smarthomes made up to 2010, and exceeded the total earnings (salary, rent and royalties) that Gallagher, and his co-founder Derek Roddy, took from the business,
- Gallagher also owned shares in climote but also sold out his holding in 2011
- In 2007, Gallagher listed that he was a 1st dan black-belt in both Judo and Karate
- The accounts of Gallagher's consulting company, BHTC, listed a Director Loan of €82,829, which was 70% of BHTC's net assets. The Revenue Commissioners prohibit Director Loans in excess of 10% of net assets because of their use in tax avoidance (e.g. where the Director avoids paying company tax and dividend tax, or salary tax (depending how the Director extractes the profits), by giving themselves a loan, and then never paying it back, and usually winding down the company who writes off the loan.
- The Irish times would later report that some of the Dragons' Den companies did not receive the investment that Gallagher had promised.
- The Irish Independent reported: At 10.39pm, a tweet was posted to a Twitter feed "#aras11". The Twitter account responsible was "@mcguinness4Pres". It read: "The man that Gallagher took the cheque from will be at a press conference tomorrow. #aras11."
- Glenna Lynch also owned a small interior design business and was familiar with Irish revenue rules, and typical abuses, regarding Director Loans. She would go on to join the Social Democrats and unsuccessfully contest the general election in 2016.
- Barry Egan (21 February 2010). "Through the eyes of a Dragon". Irish Independent.
- "Gallagher Visits Former Family Home In Monaghan". The Northern Standard. 21 October 2011.
Mr Gallagher [...] was born in 17, Devin Reilly Terrace, Monaghan on 7th July 1962. The Gallagher family lived at Devin Reilly Terrace for a number of years before moving to Ballyhaise in County Cavan.
- "Presidential Race – Gallagher Gets In But Ó Caoláin Stays Out". The Northern Standard. 13 September 2018.
Monaghan Town-born entrepreneur Seán Gallagher secured the four local authority nominations he needed to contest the October 26 poll to decide the next President of Ireland
- Harry McGee (20 October 2011). "The many faces of Seán Gallagher". Irish Times.
- Anne Campbell (20 October 2010). "Seán cares about Ireland and its people". Irish Independent.
- ""Better Business: Seán Gallagher"". BetterBusiness. 2016.
After school, he attended the local agricultural college. His first job was working with the college and he had a small farm for a while. Then in 1983, he was in a car accident which took him on a bit of a detour. He went back to college in Maynooth University, trained as a youth worker and spent the next several years in the public sector.
- "Seán Gallagher's secret past revealed - he was an aerobics instructor". Irish Independent. 16 September 2018.
- "Our People – Board members". InterTradeIreland. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "Dragon's Den star Seán Gallagher on the Ógra Fianna Fáil National Youth Conference". Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "InterTradeIreland: Annual Report 2007" (PDF). InterTradeIreland. December 2007.
Board Member: SEAN GALLAGHER
- "Seán Gallagher speaks at FREE business start-up seminar". Waterford Today. 16 May 2011.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur himself, Seán was assistant CEO with the County Enterprise Boards
- "Dragon Profile – Seán Gallagher". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "Seán Gallagher RTÉ Interview Transcript". Broadsheet. 13 October 2011.
- Siobhan Creaton; Cormac McQuinn (22 October 2011). "Gallagher shared in payout of €860,000". Irish Independent.
- Paul Cullen (19 October 2011). "Gallagher's €10m promise fails to materialise". Irish Times.
- "Bertie on whirlwind tour of Louth". Irish Independent. 14 December 2006.
- Godron Deegan (28 August 2012). "Gallagher's former company Smarthomes returns to profitability". Irish Independent.
- Sarah McCabe (20 June 2013). "Gallagher plays no part in Smart Homes, says MD Conway". Irish Independent.
- Michael Brennan; Eimear Ni Bhraonain (15 October 2011). "Gallagher sat on board of quango that gave his firm cash". Irish Independent.
He was appointed to the board of North-South body Intertrade Ireland at the end of 2007 -- and annual accounts for that year reveal they gave €41,970 to his Smart Homes company. [..] But it also emerged that he managed to miss half of all Intertrade Ireland board meetings over the past two-and-a-half years -- despite getting €30,000 in fees.
- Ed Carthy (3 October 2011). "Seán Gallagher reveals €41,550 in payments from State boards since 2008". Irish Independent.
- "Drogheda Port sails through turbulent times". 3 July 2011.
The company’s chairperson, Seán Gallagher, said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed as Chairman of the company in 2010 at a key juncture in the port’s future development.
- "RTÉ's Dragons' Den seeking entrepreneurs". RTÉ.ie. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "Winner crowned in Lords of the Ring". RTÉ.ie. 23 August 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "The shape I'm in: Seán Gallagher, businessman". The Irish Examiner. 16 March 2016.
- "Seán Gallagher's company Beach House records accumulated loss". Irish Times. 10 December 2013.
Former presidential candidate works a journalist and motivational speaker
- Colm Keena (25 October 2011). "Questions remain surrounding Gallagher's financial affairs". Irish Times.
- "Irish firm appoints Gallagher to board". The Irish Examiner. 14 February 2018.
Those filings show it had almost $2.42m (€1.97m) in assets at the end of October, mainly accounting for the value of its patents. In the quarter, its costs and administrative expenses contributed to a net loss of $107,732. For the full nine months, it posted a net loss of $263,311. Mr Sheridan said a small start-up loan to South Dublin County Council had all but been paid back.
- Cormac McQuinn; Kevin Doyle (16 September 2018). "How former Dragons Den star Seán Gallagher expanded his business interests since failed Áras bid". Irish Independent.
- "Candidate Profiles (Including Micheál Martin, Seán Gallagher) From The 1984 Ógra Fianna Fáil Conference Clár". IRISH ELECTION LITERATURE. 14 August 2014.
- Gemma O'Doherty (15 October 2011). "Gallagher: the lessons I learnt from my first wife". Irish Independent.
- Michael Brennan (24 October 2011). "Gallagher spoke of 30 years' work for FF party". Irish Independent.
- "Gallagher has "never ever been secretive" of Fianna Fáil links". TheJournal.ie. 28 July 2011.
The Dragons’ Den investor said he did not have any connection with the party between 1993 – when he finished working as a political secretary for then-Health minister and Cavan-Monaghan TD Rory O’Hanlon – and 2007 when he acted as a campaign manager for Louth's Séamus Kirk.
- Harry McGee (14 October 2009). "Football injury steered him into politics". Irish Independent.
His seat was considered to be among those most at risk in the 2007 general election with the entry of Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness into the field. Kirk adopted a far stronger republican tone during the campaign. In the event, he topped the poll ahead of his Fianna Fáil colleague, then minister for justice Dermot Ahern.
- Fionnan Sheahan (20 October 2011). "Seán Gallagher linked to secret FF fundraiser". Irish Independent.
- "Gallagher controversy lingers on". Irish Independent. 16 September 2011.
- "Gallagher reveals his plan to bring dirty nappies and pitter-patter of tiny feet to the Aras". Irish Independent. 11 October 2011.
He said he was also happy to clarify the timeline and when exactly he did leave Fianna Fáil. "I did attend two meetings of the party's executive in July and December 2009. I stepped down then as a member of the Ravensdale Cumann in Co Louth on March 1, 2010," he said. "I then signaled verbally in September 2010 that I was stepping down as a member of the executive and I formally put that in writing in order to allow the executive to replace me and that happened on January 5, 2011."
- Connolly, Niamh (1 May 2011). "Gallagher plans to swap Den for run at the Park". Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- McGee, Harry (7 May 2011). "'Dragon' seeks FF support for Park bid". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- "Two independents receive Áras nominations". RTÉ News. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- Mcgee, Harry (27 September 2011). "Gallagher hands in nomination papers". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "Gallagher officially launches Áras campaign". Irish Examiner. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Irish Presidential Election 2011". Later Social. 17 October 2011. Archived from the original on 10 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- Paul Cullen (1 October 2011). "Presidential debate gives viewers few talking points". Irish Times.
- Harry McGee; Marie O'Halloran (3 October 2011). "Gallagher, Davis reveal earnings". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Barry Roche (13 October 2011). "Gallagher distances himself from FF". Irish Times.
Asked by Miriam O'Callaghan on the Prime Time debate if he felt Fianna Fáil had let the country down, Mr Gallagher said that he could not answer for Fianna Fáil, but today he moved to counter suggestions that he had been equivocal on the issue. [...] "I was asked to condemn Fianna Fáil, and the first thing that came into my mind was the thousands of ordinary decent men and women who are the grassroots of Fianna Fáil . . . and I didn't want to condemn them because they weren't in government, they weren't in Cabinet.
- Michael Freeman (20 October 2011). "Seán Gallagher: €80,000 loan was 'an accounting mistake'". TheJournal.ie.
- Pat Leahy (29 August 2018). "How Seán Gallagher nearly became president of Ireland in 2011". Irish Times.
- "Poll shows Gallagher leading Áras race". RTÉ News. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
- "Gallagher extends lead in latest Áras opinion polls". Journal.ie. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
- Jody Corcoran (27 November 2011). "RTÉ accused over fake tweet that scuppered Gallagher's Aras bid". Irish Independent.
- Harry McGee (20 December 2017). "Gallagher tweet was fake news before term was invented". Irish Times.
It reopened the matter and allowed McGuinness to stoke up the earlier attack. This time Gallagher referred directly to the man, disparaging him. In so doing he also made comments that had very unfortunate overtones for a man denying Fianna Fáil connections – including “no recollection” and “if he gave me an envelope”. Those phrases recalled excuses of disgraced Fianna Fáil politicians
- "Seán Gallagher: Biffo's Bagman". 25 October 2011.
Transcrpit of sections of Seán Gallagher's interaction with Glena Lynch, and Martin McGuinness, on The Frontline debate, 24 October 2011
- "Gallagher repeats cheque denial". Irish Times. 26 October 2011.
- Mary Minihan (24 September 2015). "Glenna Lynch to run for Social Democrats in general election". Irish Times.
- "Glena and the Dragon". Broadsheet. 25 October 2011.
Transcrpit of Seán Gallagher interview on the Pat Kenny radio show
- Christine Bohan (30 October 2011). "Why Ireland turned against presidential favourite Seán Gallagher". The Guardian.
- "BAI upholds Seán Gallagher complaint about Frontline tweet". Irish Independent. 27 March 2012.
- Shane Phelan (20 December 2017). "Revealed: The six-figure sum paid to Gallagher by RTÉ over Tweetgate error". Irish Independent.
- "Seán Gallagher says he will seek nomination for presidential election". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Freeman and Gallagher both secure nominations for Áras bids". RTÉ News. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Michael D Higgins confirms he will seek a second term as president". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Latest polls suggest President Higgins on course for landslide re-election". Irish Independent. 16 September 2018.
- Niamh Noran (23 September 2018). "Presidential hopeful Sean Gallagher: RTÉ payout money is there for my kids' education".
But I bring him back to the major social issues, issues from which he has nothing to gain personally by working on. One by one, we go through marriage equality, the Repeal campaign, opposition to Irish Water and the homelessness crisis. Did he actively campaign on any of these? One by one he concedes, "No, I didn't actively campaign....I can't campaign on every issue." He says he cannot reveal how much he won from RTE because the damages are bound by a confidentiality agreement. Asked what he did with the money he says: "The money is there for my kids' education.
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