17 Days to go

The TrailFix: Will the TV debates liven up this 'boring' election?

The best and worst bits from today’s #ge16 campaign trail.

EVERY NIGHT DURING the general election, brings you the latest from the Election 2016 campaign trail.

9/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured with barber Bega of Bega's Barbers in Wexford earlier today

Everybody’s talking about

Crime has overtaken the election as the story in Ireland right now as the horrific events of the past few days in north Dublin put the city’s gang war centre stage. Even the attempts by Enda Kenny and the government to score political points are being overshadowed by the very serious questions about the resourcing of gardaí.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald magically came up with an extra €5 million today, which begs the questions as to why such funding wasn’t allocated in the Budget last year. You can’t help but think there was an element of political opportunism here from being able to provide extra resources.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s stance on the Special Criminal Court and the Offences Agianst the State Acts puts the party in a difficult spot. It’s unlikely this long-standing Sinn Féin commitment would have been so heavily scrutinised were it not for the two recent shootings. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be examined in detail.

9/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Sinn Féin launching its manifesto today Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

But overall it’s not been the most lively of election campaigns so far. Indeed the buzzword among the political classes is ‘boring’. There’s been nothing in the way of a gamechanger, so far. Normally you’d say that suits the government – and perhaps it does – but with the polls indicating it won’t be re-elected something needs to happen for Fine Gael and Labour or for the opposition to steal the initiative.

That could come on Thursday as TV3 hosts the first TV debate of the campaign with the four main party leaders going up against each other. At last, after five years, we will see Enda Kenny debate Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin outside the Dáil.

It promises to be a fascinating spectacle that may provide the first real excitement of this dull campaign.

Slap Down of the Day

We enjoyed SocDem Gary Gannon’s withering assessment of an article Labour’s Derek Nolan wrote for last year in our latest High Table Election Debate.

Also, this look says it all.


Row of the Day

It wasn’t so much a row as a testy and revealing back-and-forth between Cathal MacCoille and Micheál Martin on Morning Ireland earlier in which the Fianna Fáil leader did not explicitly rule out supporting a Fine Gael minority government:


Bullshit Claim of the Day

Labour’s Kevin Humphreys was stretching it when he claimed earlier that Sinn Féin’s proposal to elect a third of TDs via the party list system would see people like convicted tax evader Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy appointed to the Dáil.

Sinn Féin may have some questionable friends, but Labour’s reaching there.

WTF Moment of the Day

Kudos to James Roche for producing this masterpiece.

It was a good day for

  • Renua’s new attack ad has people talking.
  • In a welcome move, independent Sligo-Leitrim candidate Marie Casserly is not putting up posters. Instead she’s recycling her road signs from the local election.
  • Labour TD John Lyons had a busy but fun day as Leon Farrell from captured in this lovely series of pictures

lyons life 1

It was a bad day for


Tomorrow’s news today: What’s happening on the campaign trail

  • Fine Gael: The Taoiseach and Heather Humphreys will launch the party’s measures for older people. Enda Kenny will also canvass in the constituencies of Sligo-Leitrim, Roscommon-Galway and his own Mayo. 
  • Labour: Joan Burton will launch the party’s plans to make childcare more affordable in Dublin. She will also be canvassing in Dublin and doing interviews with Newstalk and RTÉ. 
  • Fianna Fáil: Justice spokesperson Niall Collins is announcing measures to tackle serious crime and anti-social behaviour in Dublin. Micheál Martin will address IFA executive council in the capital. 
  • Sinn Féin: The party is unveiling measures to enhance workers’ rights at its HQ on Parnell Street in Dublin. 
  • Green Party: Eamon Ryan will launch the party’s public transport policies in Dublin city centre. 
  • Social Democrats: Stephen Donnelly is launching the party’s ‘back Irish business’ policy in Dublin city centre. 

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