Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 2 December, 2021

Here's what happened when I asked every presidential candidate if they had seen A Star is Born

The only issue you need to base your vote on.


IN SEVEN DAYS time, the people of Ireland will cast their votes for the next President of Ireland. After weeks of pitches and debates, gaffes and blunders, the finish line is in sight.

Over the past few months, I have looked on as each of the six candidates has tried to convince the electorate that they are the man or woman for the job.

They have waxed lyrical about their ambition for Ireland. They have carelessly struck golf balls into rivers. They have grappled with big questions like, ‘Would you wear a poppy?’ and ‘Are you sure you understand the constitutional limits of the office?’ When all else has failed, they have spoken in hushed tones of the diaspora. (Whisper it with me: diaspora.

Throughout all of this, just one question has been pinging around my brain. A question that has so far gone unasked and unanswered. 

“Okay, but have any of these people seen A Star is Born yet?”

Because if there is one thing I care more about democracy, it is A Star is Born.


Seeking to find out who was off the deep end and who was still marooned in the shallow, I decided to contact each of the six candidates to ask two important questions:

  1. Will you see A Star is Born in cinemas? If so, are you looking forward to seeing it? If not, why won’t you be seeing it?
  2. Do you like Lady Gaga? If so, what is your favourite Lady Gaga song and why?

Of the six candidates, four replied to me – Gavin Duffy, Peter Casey, Liadh Ní Riada and Sean Gallagher. Neither President Michael D. Higgins nor Joan Freeman returned my requests for comment. What you choose to do with that information is entirely up to you. 

Without further ado, here are the responses.

Peter Casey

13001282_1689643417919153_4453558407590807016_n Source: Peter Casey/Facebook

Having made a series of controversial comments about Travellers earlier this week, Peter Casey has suspended his campaign and vowed to take the weekend off to take stock of where his campaign is at. 

Might he slink into a screening of A Star is Born?

Definitely trying to take a night out to watch it, my wife Helen is dying to see it. We watched the Barbara Streisand version a few months back in anticipation and plan on seeing the original with Judy Garland before seeing this latest adaption. We are really looking forward to seeing it. 

As for whether he likes Lady Gaga? Why, he’s a veritable Little Monster. 

The obvious choice is Born This Way but I also like John Wayne as John is one of my favourite actors. Million Reasons is another Lady Gaga song I like. Lady Gaga’s performance celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sound of Music on the Oscars was awe-inspiring. Her talent is beyond measure or comparison. 

Gavin Duffy

42916001_248957065811118_4715734504570880000_n Source: Gavin Duffy/Facebook

Gavin Duffy holds the distinction of being the only presidential candidate to have seen A Star is Born, which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as he once tweeted this:

Here’s what he had to say:

Coincidentally I saw A Star is Born last Sunday at an early evening viewing. Needed a short break after canvassing in Navan and before a meeting with campaign volunteers. I always like to see movies on the big screen so I love going to the cinema.” 
The movie lived up to the hype, it was brilliant. It confirmed something we all know: Bradley Cooper is a brilliant actor and Lady Gaga is a world class singer but also came with the pleasant surprise that Cooper was talented and credible as a singer and Gaga was convincing and engaging as an actor. 
As for his thoughts on Gaga? They’re surprisingly comprehensive. 
Ever since I watched a documentary of a Lady Gaga Concert at Madison Square Garden, New York and her singing backstage an acapella version of Born This Way I have been struck by her extensive vocal range. Early Gaga was dominated by the visual and theatrical but A Star is Born, the movie, leaves us in no doubt she is a superstar singer.

Damn, Gavin. Check you out celebrating Lady Gaga’s evolution as an artist. 

Sean Gallagher

43114212_2047516708647191_6039283712544210944_n Source: Sean Gallagher/Facebook

The Cavan man has yet to see A Star is Born, but noted subtle parallels between the film and his own story. 

As I am a bit tied up at the moment all cinema plans are on hold until after October 26th but I do think I’ll go see it. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are a dynamic duo and who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Will it still be in the cinema then? Do you recommend it? 

As for his favourite Lady Gaga bop?

Perhaps if I was to choose one timely anthem of hers right now it would be The Edge Of Glory. I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge/The edge, the edge, the edge, the edge/I’m on the edge of glory………..

So now.  

Liadh Ní Riada


Finally, the Sinn Féin candidate and MEP hasn’t managed to catch the film yet but seems to be a Jackson Maniac in the making. 

I have seen reviews and it looks like a film I would like to see. I am a fan of Bradley Cooper – what woman wouldn’t!!
Lady Gaga is a really versatile singer and actor.  What a strong powerful voice she has. Poker face classic song and yes when the campaign is over I will have some much needed time out to enjoy the film.

So there you have it. May you go forth and cast your vote safe in the knowledge that at least four of our presidential candidates are Lady Gaga stans and that one went to a screening of A Star is Born in Navan (!) 

Now if you excuse me, I am off to listen to Look What I Found for the trillionth time. See you at the ballot box.

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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