Friday 21 October 2016

Watch: 'I hope it will be tough and fair' - leaders begin final television debate

Published 23/02/2016 | 20:40

Tanaiste Joan Burton arriving for TV Debate as she answers questions from the media for RTE Prime Time
Tanaiste Joan Burton arriving for TV Debate as she answers questions from the media for RTE Prime Time
Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin arriving for TV debate on RTE
Picture shows the set prior to the four leaders Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Joan Burton, Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Micheal Martin and Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams line up for their last TV Debate on RTE Prime Time

The leaders of the main political parties have started arriving for tonight's debate.

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The Labour leader Joan Burton was the first to arrive.

She told members of the press that she was looking forward to tonight's Prime Time Leaders Debate.

"I am delighted to be here tonight. It's very exciting. It's an opportunity to put the case for Labour for the next government to the people of Ireland," she said.

"I think it will be a fair debate, a tough debate," she said.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was the second leader to arrive at studios ahead of tonight's debate.

He said: "Our message is to bring fairness and decency to public policy and to our society.

"And that's the fundamental message we'll be talking about this evening and I'm looking forward to a very constructive debate."

When asked if he was ready to be the next taoiseach, he said he wanted Fianna Fail to get the most votes they can, and to lead his party into government

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was the third leader to arrive.

"The choice facing the people next Friday is the people's choice for the next five years to vote for the direction the country takes. I hope they make a good choice."

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was the last of the four leaders to arrive, complaining of a "sore back for the last two weeks".

When asked if he was prepared to be Taoiseach, Adams said he would be "honoured to be re-elected by the people of Louth"

He said if he was to serve in Government, he would "not take the Ministerial wage" and "would give it back to the State".

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