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Monday 11 December 2017

SF gives up on Kenny debate as Doherty challenges Noonan

LISE HAND

Having had no luck in persuading the Taoiseach to debate with Gerry Adams live on TV3, Sinn Fein threw down a fresh gauntlet yesterday -- this time Pearse Doherty challenged the Finance Minister to a TV showdown.

Sinn Fein's finance spokesman issued the challenge yesterday at the launch of the party's programme for their forthcoming ard fheis in Killarney.

Insisting that the Taoiseach is "running scared" of taking part in a debate with his party leader, Mr Doherty declared: "Now Minister for Finance Michael Noonan needs to come out and debate this issue with me, instead of actually the type of glib remarks in terms of the feta cheese," he said, referring to the minister's earlier 'Feta cheese' wisecrack at a Bloomberg conference that Ireland's economic links with Greece are not substantial.

But Mr Doherty regarded this as no laughing matter.

"I challenge Minister Noonan. I think he has a responsibility as Minister for Finance to actually come out and tell the Irish people where the €6bn of cuts are going to come from."

The Department of Finance was noncommittal. "Minister Noonan will continue to actively campaign for a Yes vote on the Stability Treaty over the next two weeks," a spokesman said last night.

But as lively debates go, it could be a Gouda one.

Irish Independent

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