Sunday 19 February 2017

Kenny and Burton go for broke with united front

Kevin Doyle and Cormac McQuinn

Published 16/02/2016 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Fine Gael and Taniaste Joan Burton the RTÉ Claire Byrne Live Leaders Debate
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Fine Gael and Taniaste Joan Burton the RTÉ Claire Byrne Live Leaders Debate

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton last night made their clearest pitch yet for Fine Gael and the Labour Party to return to power together.

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In the wake of his gaffe on a possible link-up with Fianna Fáil, Mr Kenny used a televised debate to rule that out firmly.

The Taoiseach also went out of his way to argue why voters should re-elect Fine Gael with Labour.

Tánaiste Joan Burton went as far as calling for a vote for Labour "and then to vote number two for Fine Gael".

Mr Kenny said his "proposition" was for the return of Fine Gael and Labour.

Pressed on whether he would talk with Fianna Fáil, the Taoiseach said: "Certainly not."

Mr Kenny added: "They are not creditworthy of being in government."

The RTÉ leaders' debate also gave the opportunity to the leaders of the smaller parties, Social Democrats' Stephen Donnelly, Renua's Lucinda Creighton, and AAA-PBP's Richard Boyd Barrett to make a mark.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was ridiculed over his denials of IRA membership as he became embroiled in heated exchanges with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

But no significant blows were landed by the leaders during the course of the debate.

Irish Independent

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