Dana remains upbeat on Irish presidential bid
Published 24/10/2011 | 08:12
Dana Rosemary Scallon still believes she can win this week's Irish presidential election - despite languishing at the bottom of the polls with the support of around 1% of voters.
The Londonderry native and Eurovision winner was pressing the flesh at the races at Ballybrit in Galway yesterday, refusing to give up.
After a disastrous campaign driven by stories of family feuding, Dana was asked if the presidency was now beyond her reach.
"No. I feel better every day with the reception I'm getting," she replied.
"You must realise that I've always been low in the polls - I was low before I won a seat in the European parliament.
"Of course, I'm confident," she added.
A Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll revealed public scepticism over the claim by Dana's husband that someone had tried to kill her after a tyre on the car she was travelling in blew out. More than 94% of voters expressed their disbelief, with one woman commenting that "Dana's husband has been watching too much CSI".
The poll respondents were also dismissive of the denial by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness that he had ever met the IRA killer of Garda Jerry McCabe when that person was on the run.
Those who did not believe Mr McGuinness amounted to 74% of those polled.
Around 10% of those questioned said they intended to vote for the former IRA commander.
Confronted in Dublin City University at the weekend and asked if he would condemn the IRA gang who killed Mr McCabe in Adare, Co Limerick, in 1996, Mr McGuinness was deliberately evasive.
Asked if he would condemn the killers of Mr McCabe - as distinct from the killing - he said: "Condemn his killing?
"I've already done that. I've already done it."
Asked again if he would condemn Mr McCabe's killers, Mr McGuinness simply repeated himself.
He said: "I've already done it. I condemned the killing of Jerry McCabe."
Asked if he was now calling Ann McCabe a liar for her statement last week in which she said that he visited Kevin Walsh in Cavan while the Provisional IRA man was on the run from the gardai, Mr McGuinness said: "Whoever told Ann McCabe that is doing her a great disservice.
"It is not true and it begs the question that if somebody told Mrs McCabe (that), then why was Kevin Walsh not arrested?
"An even bigger question is if the gardai believe that, why did they never question me?"