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On 'The Frontline'

• I was in 'The Frontline' audience the night that Sean Gallagher's presidential bid was destroyed. I and my colleagues were there to support Dana and sat with Fine Gael supporters to the panel's left. Having participated in two similar RTE shows, I found it a strange experience.

We were among the first to arrive at RTE but nobody seemed to be able to direct us. We were ushered into three different reception rooms in quick succession. No question cards were issued until I requested them. None were collected until we handed them in. I got the impression even then that we had driven 200 miles to sit as mere decoration.

The programme was conducted in an infuriating way.

The centre was populated by late teens and those in their early 20s.

The only questions that were taken were from the centre group of the three seating areas.

Flailing our hands with outraged facial expressions was to no avail.

Both I and the Fine Gael supporters behind me ended up shouting queries verging on insults at Pat Kenny and his floor manager during the ad breaks.

But these top-of-the-voice insults were like water off a duck's back to these guys. Meanwhile I was mesmerised at the technical detail of some of the book-keeping and accountancy questions that had been directed at Sean Gallagher by what looked like a 22-year-old.

Even when the programme was over none of us realised what had happened in front of our eyes.

I was reminded of the old adage: some people make things happen, some watch them happen and the rest wonder what happened.

Brian Flanagan

Irish Independent