The Irish Presidential Race Becomes a Gripping Soap Opera

The strangest Irish presidential election ever just got a whole Twilight Zone twist when the husband of Dana, alias Rosemary Scallon, a former gospel singer once based in America, claimed she had been the target of an assassination attempt.

Driving back to Dublin from the West of Ireland on Tuesday, a tire on the car blew out, and the couple narrowly escaped injury.

It was subsequently discovered the tire had fifteen knife puncture wounds and police were investigating and treating it as a crime.

Earlier in the campaign, Dana, who was running on a family values platform, became embroiled in a very sordid family feud when it was alleged by her sister based in Iowa, that Dana had covered up the sexual abuse of her sister's daughter by her brother. Lawyers have become involved in a very nasty situation.

Dana has slumped in the polls, not surprisingly. Meanwhile, David Norris, the gay senator who once led the polls by a handsome margin, has also taken a nose dive after letters he wrote defending his former Israeli-based lover convicted of statutory rape of a young Palestinian boy became public.

Norris tanked in the polls, withdrew and then, amazingly re-entered at the 11th hour.

Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, also entered the contest with high hopes, but soon found himself confronted on several occasions by families of Irish police and army members killed by the IRA. The made-for-TV confrontations resurrected the bad old days when the IRA campaign caused great grief in the Irish Republic and he seemed to to be slumping in the polls.

Then there is the question of the health of Michael D. Higgins, former government minister and Labor Party luminary who has led the race since the Norris demise.

On several debates the 70-year-old Higgins has appeared tired and his hands have been shaking. This has led to speculation that he would have difficulty completing a seven-year term.

Meanwhile Gay Mitchell, the main government party candidate, has been so unimpressive on the stump that he will be lucky to breast the ten percent mark, some 30 points in popularity behind his party

With the favorites falling like ninepins, the unlikely beneficiary has been Sean Gallagher, a reality TV show star and businessman who was considered a 40 to one outsider when the race started. Young and vigorous, Gallagher has sent a strong American-type message of building business links and helping create jobs.

In the last poll he jumped an astonishing 18 points to lead the field by twelve with just a week left for campaigning.

But this has been a race so full of surprises, spectacular flameouts and now an alleged assassination attempt that no one is writing the final script just yet.

Dallas at its height would have nothing on this race!