herald

Friday 18 January 2019

No love lost between FG's Gerry and Bill

COLOURFUL councillor Gerry Breen has just been asked by supporter Mary Webb how she can ensure that he wins a seat tomorrow.

"Just put me Number One and everything else doesn't matter", says Gerry. After a beat, he adds: "...and Number Two for Bill."

The pause lasts a moment too long. They may be party colleagues but there's no love lost between the current Lord Mayor of Dublin and his Fine Gael running mate Dr Bill Tormey.

The pair publicly clashed when Gerry backed proposals to criminalise aggressive street begging in Dublin, with Tormey blasting the comments as "anti-social".

And as they square up to fight for the third and final seat in Dublin North West, neither man is giving an inch. Never one to shy away from confrontation, Gerry insists that having a running mate "doesn't bother me".

"It's good to have competition. We're each fighting our own corner.

"I'm old enough now to have learned that what goes on during the campaign is just part of the campaign."

Then he knocks on a door at Griffith Avenue and grins delightedly as the occupant tells him: "I think you should beat Tormey anyway, I don't care much for him."

His smile grows even wider when he meets Katharina McHugh, who confirms: "You will definitely get our vote."

Blissfully oblivious to the traffic lights, Gerry then sprints across the road. A keen runner, he doesn't stroll when he can sprint.

"I ran the Operation Transformation 5k run last Saturday", he tells me proudly. "I ran it in 29.51."

His no-nonsense attitude could be just what Dublin North West constituents want in a politician.

Questioned by a shop owner about crippling rates, Gerry doesn't mince his words, insisting: "I would love to get the job of junior minister for cutting the arse out of costs in this country."

Enda Kenny, take note.

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