PRESIDENTIAL runner-up Sean Gallagher has revealed he retreated to a monastery to recover from the bruising Aras race.
The defeated candidate, who was a one-time frontrunner in the polls, hasn't ruled out running again, but now wants to concentrate on becoming a father. He and his wife Trish are expecting their first baby in March.
According to The Irish Independent
, Mr Gallagher said he had no regrets about running for office. "I don't regret it for a moment because I don't consider it as a failure. I really wanted to do for enterprise and jobs what Mary McAleese had done for the peace process.
"I got to head the polls a few days out from the election. I think it was a great success, albeit the last week didn't come the way we wanted it."
Mr Gallagher's bid for the Aras was scuppered after he appeared on a live 'Frontline' debate.
A tweet was read out from an unofficial 'Martin McGuinness for President' Twitter account on the show. It claimed Sinn Fein was going to produce a man who handed Mr Gallagher €5,000 for Fianna Fail.
The BAI upheld a complaint by Mr Gallagher but his reaction to the tweet live on television is widely thought to have damaged his image.Recover
In an interview with Gay Byrne, he revealed how he and his wife went to a monastery to recover from the high-profile election defeat.
He said: "It's almost a year (since the election) and myself and Trish took some time off and got to know each other again and got the pace slowed down.
"Initially, after the campaign ended, we took a week's retreat in a lovely little Carmelite monastery in Sligo.
"We meditated, prayed and went for walks."
Mr Gallagher said he was now planning to move to his wife's home in Cork to start their family after recovering from the presidential race.
"We're blessed with the good news that we're going to start a family at the end of March.
"My focus now is on Trish and starting a family and being a good father and a good husband and being a good parent."
'The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne' will be aired tomorrow at 10.30pm on RTE One.
A search by SligoToday.ie
reveals that the Carmelite monastery in question is the Holy Hill Hermitage in Skreen, West Sligo.