Friday 24 May 2019

Tonight with Vincent Browne to broadcast second marriage referendum debate

Vincent Browne
Vincent Browne
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

‘Tonight with Vincent Browne’ will broadcast a second marriage equality referendum debate ahead of the May 22.

Guests representing both the yes and no campaigns including Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and journalist John Waters will feature in a lively hour-long debate.

Browne will chair the debate which kicks off at 11pm on TV3.

It follows another debate last night on Claire Byrne Live on RTE One between Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD in favour of a yes vote and Senior Counsel Patrick Treacy arguing for the no side.

During the debate, Leo Varadkar said the no side is “changing the subject” and introducing "extraneous issues" as it fears losing Friday’s vote.

“What the no side are doing is a classic tactic. When you can’t win an argument on its merits you try and change the subject. We’ve seen that happen so many times in referendums in the past,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the no side, Senior Counsel Patrick Treacy said passing the referendum would require all people to “engage in the pretence” that heterosexual relationships and same-sex relationships are the same.

“Our constitution has to be of the highest standards and has to be impeccable, it has to be flawless” he said.

Claire Byrne's initial debate on the marriage referendum on May 11 drew an average audience of 368,000, the highest of the season, as Minister Simon Coveney TD went head to head with no campaigner, Independent Senator Ronán Mullen.

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