Friday 20 April 2018

As the curtain goes up on election, it is make or break for gang of four

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Mark Condren
Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Mark Condren
Tánaiste Joan Burton. Photo: Mark Condren
Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein. Photo: Arthur Carron
Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil. Photo: Tom Burke
Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

Jim Gavin, Dublin's football supremo, has a simple but powerful message for his players before big showdowns: "Be the best that you can be." It's enough to win.

It is not a big leap to suggest that the same fixed focus, composure under pressure, and the delivery of talent in key moments applies to party leaders on the eve of a fiercely fought election. On their shoulders rest the hopes, ambitions and responsibility for their team's success. Campaigns, after all, are pretty much presidential in style and substance.

There is a format which is followed faithfully. The score card is marked by the following: leaders' TV debates, keynote media interviews for every station and newspaper, constituency tours, and the careful dissemination of daily soundbites.

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