Martin issues Kenny with debate ultimatum
Published 27/01/2011 | 14:43
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has written for a second time to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny over the plan for live TV debates in the run up to the General Election.
The newly crowned party chief threatened to push ahead with two way debates with Mr Gilmore unless Fine Gael comes on board.
TG4 has invited the three to a debate in Galway at 10am on February 16.
"Whether or not you attend, I intend being there at that time," Mr Martin wrote.
"Should you insist on refusing to more debates than is possible in a five way format, I will propose to Eamon that we proceed to arrange a series of debates between ourselves."
Mr Martin said he had no doubt broadcasters would be able to arrange a format to then give Mr Kenny and other leaders coverage.
He said he would not compromise on the basic duty to engage in meaningful debate.
"We need real debates where the people can judge whether we can think on our feet, not scripted sound bite debates where there is so little time for each participant," the Fianna Fail leader said.
"Since you and Eamon say you wish to govern together, even though you have so many fundamental policy differences, it is critical that the Irish people have the opportunity to see those differences debated before the election."