Higgins who, despite being Gallagher’s only real rival in the presidential campaign, has been lagging well behind him in recent days. However following revelations which were brought to light by Sinn Féin candidate Martin McGuinness concerning all of: “independent” candidate Seán Gallagher, a cheque for €5,000, a brown envelope and a Fianna Fáil event, Higgins could soon regain his position as forerunner in the 2011 presidential election.
Following McGuinness’s remarks, Gallagher conceded that the allegation could possibly hold some weight, before unconvincingly claiming that he could not remember with certainty one way or the other, and then finally confirming that there may be some truth in the statement made by the Sinn Féin candidate. Michael D. Higgins, who managed to escape the Frontline interrogation unscathed, was reported by a poll carried out on The Journal.ie, to have emerged from the presidential debate in the best condition with 39% of the public admitting that he came across better than the other participants.
Whether Higgins takes pleasure in doing a character assassination on Gallagher, or if he sees it as his moral obligation to the nation (etc., etc., etc.), he has nevertheless brandished his opponent as being a candidate who “lacks substance”, and implied that Gallagher is somewhat dodgy (in relation to business ownership and tax returns at least), over the last week. Higgins’ proved the depth of his underhandedness when he refused to get involved in the supposed Gallagher scandal on Monday night, and then yesterday urged the public to seek answers in relation to the allegations when he said on ‘Midlands 103’ Radio yesterday that: “these remarks are very serious questions to which the public’s entitled to an answer and the answer should come quickly and it should be regarded as a matter of urgency”.
Whatever else, nobody can fault Michael D. Higgins on his ability to optimize on controversial rumours about his main competitor. It remains to be seen however whether or not Monday night’s presidential debate will infringe upon Gallagher’s ability to maintain his electoral following throughout Ireland and proceed to be the next President of Ireland. Whatever happens, it is clear that Higgins is far more cunning than anyone would have thought.