Election 2020: Rural Ireland on the agenda ahead of Varadkar/Martin debate

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.

The first television debate of the general election takes place tonight between the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

Sinn Féin has slammed the decision to not let Mary Lou McDonald take part in the debate.

It has been billed as the head-to-head between the men who would be Taoiseach.

Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin will debate each other tonight on Virgin Media One with Pat Kenny moderating.

It is the first time since Enda Kenny vs Bertie Ahern that two leaders have debated in this format during an election campaign.

But it has caused controversy.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald says it is a sham that she is being excluded as the leader of the third largest party.

Micheál Martin argued that only Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil will be in a position to lead the next government because of the number of candidates running.

Leo Varadkar said he was happy to debate Ms McDonald but also wants the one-on-one format.

Sinn Féin had been getting legal advice on the situation yesterday but as of this morning it looks as though the debate is going ahead as planned.

On day eight of the election campaign, personal finance, pensions and issues in rural Ireland will be on the agenda for political parties.

With it being the deadline for nominations today, Mr Varadkar will push it close as he hands in his papers to officially put him on the ballot for Dublin West.

Later in the morning, Simon Coveney and Michael Ring will reveal Fine Gael’s plans for rural Ireland.

Fianna Fáil will discuss their personal taxation proposals later this morning with Michael McGrath and Barry Cowen.

Personal finance will also be the order of the day from Sinn Féin as Pearse Doherty reveals their insurance reform and pension policies.

We are starting to see the first of the general election manifestos with People Before Profit launching theirs this morning.

With pensions very much being one of the talking points of the election, Roisin Shorthall of the Social Democrats will also discuss her party’s stance this afternoon.

Labour will publish their proposals to support renters with Jan O’Sullivan and Kevin Humphreys.

While Green Party leader Eamon Ryan will focus his campaign in Meath and Westmeath this afternoon.

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