Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 April 2015

Ageism row in race for Irish presidency

A war of words erupted in the Irish presidential contest last night as veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne warned Independent candidate Sean Gallagher about making ageist comments.

Mr Gallagher denied saying Byrne (77), was too old to be Irish President - but said the job required energy and drive.

The Irish Dragons' Den star trails Labour's Michael D Higgins and Gay Byrne - both in their 70s - in the latest poll and said the next person in the Aras should have a "modern outlook" and "be of our time".

"Mary Robinson when she became President, and Mary McAleese were both 48 - and at 49 I was making the point that it does require energy and drive to travel the country to serve people at home," Mr Gallagher said.

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