Peter Casey has said he will decide in the next week on his future political intentions after finishing second in the Presidential Election.

The businessman said he needed to discuss the matter with his wife. When asked if he identified with any political party, he said he believed he was left-of-centre. 

Speaking to reporters, he ruled out a run for the European elections.

Earlier, Mr Casey said he did not believe his controversial comments about the Travelling community propelled him to second place in the polls.

He said that he went up in the polls because he spoke about the people who were really hurting.

Mr Casey said that in his opinion the comments that boosted his support were comments he made about middle Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Casey said that middle Ireland was feeling tired and felt like nobody was listening to them.

He said he believed that people were looking for a voice, and that they wanted someone who would say things that were on their mind.

On members of the Travelling community being worried about what might follow his comments, Mr Casey said his comments "did not unleash anything".

"I did not unleash anything ... they are 0.7% of the population and they are exactly the same as you and me. They are proud Irish people.

"There are so many wonderful ethnic minorities in the country – people from Africa, people from India, people from all different continents – they are different ethnic status. The people in the Travelling community are not, they are as Irish as you and me".

Mr Casey said he thought there had been a breath of fresh air coming through Irish politics. He did not rule out a future run in politics, saying he would run for the presidency next time - if he is not Taoiseach by then.



Speaking on RTÉ's Marian Finucane Show, Mr Casey has said he is actually quite disappointed with the predicted election outcome. He felt there was a chance he could win and he really felt he did have an opportunity to make a difference.

He said he believed that he would either join or form a political party in Ireland. He said that he decided to run in this campaign because he would be 74 when by the time of the next election.

Mr Casey said the vast majority of people who voted for him were paying all the bills and barely getting by.

He said he has total respect for the Travelling community and had he been successful, he was "going to suggest that we invite all of the Travelling community to move into the Phoenix Park for a five-year period.

"Unfortunately I'm not in a position to do that. I would encourage Michael D to do that and insist that schools are put in there for a five-year period so that they can get education. Education, education, education, that's the key.

"The real reason I got a bump in the polls is because I spoke about and said: 'Middle Ireland - they're the people that are hurting, they're the people who got absolutely nothing out of the last Budget and they're the ones that are paying all the bills'."

Kathleen Lawrence, an Irish Traveller and part of the Health team at Pavee Point, said there was no way that Mr Casey would have jumped from 1% to 20% of the vote if he had not made his comments about the Travelling community.

She added that it was very disappointing to see him bring American style politics to Ireland and said all he has done is make Ireland more divisive.

"I think based on his comments the only one he is fooling is himself, because there is no way he would have jumped up to 20% in the vote without making those comments," she said.

She pointed out that when cuts were being made during the recession, the Travelling community was hit by cuts the most.

"As Peter Casey said, Travellers are less than 1% of the population, but we are a distinct ethnic minority within this country. I am very proud to be Irish, but I am very proud to be an Irish Traveller," she said.

She added: "I think it is a shame and disgrace that he feels it is OK to turn around and say that we should not be recognised for who we are."

Catholic Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O'Reilly has said he has been alarmed by some of the inflammatory language used during the presidential election campaign. 

Archbishop O'Reilly said it had "caused real hurt, humiliation and heartache".

The archbishop lives in Thurles where Mr Casey had criticised some members of the Travelling community for refusing to move into newly-built houses unless stabling for their horses was provided.

In a statement, Dr O'Reilly said that the Travelling community has expressed concern over hurt caused by some of the public discussion in recent weeks.

He added: "Travellers are finding themselves at the centre of unwelcome and unfair comment. Our society, which is already unequal, cannot afford to become any more polarised. Whilst the election may be over, unfortunately the consequences of this campaign will continue for many for some time to come."

Congratulating Michael D Higgins, the archbishop said that the nation could look forward with confidence to Mr Higgins' compassionate style of leadership.