Peter Casey says he is joining Fianna Fáil, pledges to become Taoiseach
The fallout from the Presidential election continues.
The dust has barely settled on the 2018 Irish Presidential election but big moves are being made.
Michael D. Higgins was officially re-elected on the first ballot on Saturday evening, having received 822,566 first preference votes from the public.
Peter Casey, who came under fire for controversial comments regarding the travelling community in the run-up to the election, finished in second place having enjoyed a major surge in support.
In the end, Casey received 342,727 votes from the public.
Speaking on RTÉ's television coverage on Saturday, Casey was vague and non-committal when quizzed over where his political allegiances lie, but the businessman appears to have cleared things up as of Sunday.
In conversation with the Sunday Independent, Casey revealed that he has aligned with Fianna Fáil and noted that he plans to run for Taoiseach.
“I am joining Fianna Fáil," he said.
“I intend to run in the next general election in Donegal and I am going to become a Fianna Fáil TD — with a view to becoming Taoiseach at the head of a renewed and revitalised Fianna Fáil."
Casey said that he believes that Fianna Fáil has "lost its way" in recent years and no longer listens to "the ordinary people" of Ireland.
“I want to be the one that leads Fianna Fáil back to its natural home as the party of the people," said Casey.
"[I want] to get it back on track and to get the party listening again to the real people, to get outside of the bubble of Dublin and Leinster House and the political and media establishment.”
In an interview with RTÉ Morning Ireland on Saturday, the 61-year-old dismissed the idea that he received a large vote on the back of his comments regarding the travelling community.
"No, absolutely not," Casey said.
"The biggest comment by far is the fact that I pointed out that middle Ireland, the people that get up every morning and go to work are feeling tired.
"They’re feeling tired. They’re feeling that nobody is listening to them. They can see there’s no way to get on the housing ladder, they’re frustrated and it’s getting worse."