Artist Kevin Sharkey confirms bid to run for Uachtarán na hÉireann
The former television presenter has confirmed that he wants to be the first black President of Ireland.
Artist Kevin Sharkey confirmed on Monday that he plans to run for the presidency and be the first black Uactarán na hÉireann.
The Dublin-born, Donegal-raised man says the office of president should do more for homelessness than it currently does, and he believes he's the right man for the job.
Sharkey announced that he doesn't believe in running for the Dáil to try and sort out the housing crisis, and is instead aiming for head of state.
The former broadcaster also believes we need to take more control of our borders and immigration, claiming that Ireland is a victim of "experimental politics."
"I've watched as we've increasingly become a snooker ball on the table of European experimental politics. I feel that at the core of it, Irish people have been moved further and further down the line in terms of preference, whether it be for housing or hospital beds," he said.
"I think this experiment that's going on in Europe is a real danger to our nationality and our customs."
Sharkey, who played Father Shaft in Father Ted and had won 37 medals for Irish dancing by the age of 12, says Ireland is at risk because our compassion makes us vulnerable.
He even went as far as speaking to the team at Joe Duffy's Liveline to reference his interest in running. He also acknowledged that it may have some competition due to Higgins stating previously that he wishes to seek another term as President of Ireland.
We've spoken to two people who want to be #uachtaran. @GCraughwell says that - for a fair election - Michael D Higgins must announce if he's running or not. Kevin Sharkey - @SharkeyArtist - says he believes President Higgins will 'stick to his word' and run again. #liveline
— Liveline (@rteliveline) March 26, 2018
The artist spoke about his bid for presidency back in March of this year on popular YouTube interview channel Grand Torino.
He once again cited homelessness and the housing crisis as main reasons for his intention on running, calling the problem the "single most important issue facing Irish people and will be for generations."
Sharkey – who counts Kate Moss and the late Whitney Houston amongst his fans – was once considered the darling of the art world and made his fortune by selling his pieces to the rich and famous. However, as the recession fell, so did his fortune – leaving him to seek emergency accommodation at the tender age of 54.
He ran art galleries in Dublin, London and Ibiza – but lost it all in 2008.
The Donegal painter announced in July 2016 that he had been living in sheltered accommodation in Dublin city centre for the past two months, unable to find a place he can afford.
"I'm proof that becoming homeless can happen to anyone. This is the reality in the current crisis."
With first-hand experience of what it feels like to lose the stability of four walls and a ceiling, Sharkey believes that he can bring a fresh pair of eyes into one of the most esteemed addresses in Ireland.
Sharkey intends to speak to county councils and TDs across the country in the coming months to seek their support for his nomination. According to reports, he is also currently assembling a team to help him get nominated to run for the Áras.