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Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil spend up to €1,000 on ads criticising each other over Sinn Féin

Both parties are pushing a similar message days out from this year’s election.

FGad A still from Fine Gael's ad Source: Facebook/Fine Gael

DAYS OUT FROM the general election, Ireland’s two biggest parties have sought to gain the upper hand over each other by paying for ads claiming that the other will go into coalition with Sinn Féin.

This week, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael both posted ads on Facebook which attempt to warn viewers of the possibility that their rival will rely on Sinn Féin to support them in forming the next Government.

Fine Gael’s ad, which has been running on the social network since Monday, urges people to “think carefully” before they vote and is accompanied by an image of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald.

The Facebook ad library reveals that the ad has been seen up to 125,000 times, mostly by women over the age of 45 and those based in Dublin, and cost between €400 and €499.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil’s video ad features old news headlines – cropped on one occasion to leave out Fianna Fáil’s name – which claim that Sinn Féin could go into government with Fine Gael.

Facebook’s ad library explains that this ad, which has been running since Tuesday, also cost between €400 and €499 and was seen up to 125,000 times.

However, it has mostly been seen by men aged between 35 and 54 and those in Dublin.

FFad A still from Fianna Fáil's Facebook ad Source: Facebook/Fianna Fáil

Yesterday, TheJournal.ie revealed that Fine Gael Fianna Fáil have spent over €100,000 between them since the start of the election campaign on Facebook and Instagram ads.

In the last full week of campaigning, both parties ramped up their ads on the social media platforms with Fine Gael spending just under €25,000 and Fianna Fáil spending €31,420.

In many cases, the parties specifically mention one another in their adverts, taking aim at each other over their record on a number of issues.

Through targeted Facebook ads, political parties buying ads can select an age group, gender or particular area they would like to target. 

Many of the adverts currently running on Sinn Féin’s account feature leader Mary Lou McDonald. 

The party is currently running many adverts on Instagram with frequent messages of “there is an alternative” and “vote for change”. 

While the other two main parties have spent over €50,000 each on adverts since the campaign started, Sinn Féin has spent just €13,764. 

With reporting from Sean Murray.

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