Mitchell storms out of studio in rage before TV debate
GAY Mitchell threw a strop before the latest television debate, storming off the set and having an argument in TG4.
Fine Gael's struggling presidential election candidate objected to the format of the opening stages of the debate this week at the Irish language station's studios in Galway.
Reading the words from a screen in front of them, each of the candidates delivered a three-minute statement in Irish.
To get the candidates used to the teleprompter, they were each given 10 minutes to practice and told they would get one take to deliver the speech as the show would be recorded as if it was live.
Mr Mitchell objected, saying he was not aware it would not be rerecorded if errors were made.
Taking off his microphone, he left the studio and went down the hall. He is thought to have been engaged in a heated discussion.
On returning to the studio minutes later, Mr Mitchell apologised to the technicians and muttered something about the information he received.
Mr Mitchell's campaign declined to comment on the incident last night. A campaign source said there was a "minor misunderstanding about the logistics".
Mr Mitchell is known for his fiery debating and combative style. Earlier in the week, he walked away from the media when he was asked if he was now just fighting to secure his election expenses.
"Ah, for heaven's sake," he replied.