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The TrailFix: The gloves are off as Gerry and Joan go at it

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.

Everybody’s talking about

It took two-and-a-half days but the gloves are off in general election campaign as Sinn Féin launched a full frontal attack on the government. Buoyed by their fiscal space win – more of that here – Gerry Adams made the extraordinary claim that the Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil manifestos are “based on a lie” and called for their withdrawal.

It’s worth noting – as Brendan Howlin did earlier – that none of their manifestos have yet been published. So it seems Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty’s call for them to be “shredded” is a bit premature.


Tánaiste Joan Burton wasn’t taking Adams’s criticism lying down, hitting back this afternoon by warning voters to “beware of Sinn Féin creeping in the night” and excoriating its tax policies.

Burton knows her party’s vote is under serious threat from Sinn Féin in various constituencies, including her own in Dublin West. No surprise then that the Sinn Féin rapid response unit had Paul Donnelly, Burton’s constituency rival, hitting back by describing her as “increasingly desperate”.

But it wasn’t just Sinn Féin that Burton had harsh words for today, Fianna Fáil was slammed too:

We have spent the last five years dealing with the mess left behind by Fianna Fáil – the very people who now have the brass neck to criticise us for cleaning up after them.

The first few days have underlined the fight the government has on its hands to be re-elected, while the opposition are buoyed by their good start to the campaign. So expect a lot more of this in the coming weeks.

Slap Down of the Day

We can’t quite decide between this from Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

Or this from Labour’s Brendan Howlin on the danger of re-electing Fianna Fáil to government:

I’m in politics long enough to remember the last time they inflicted carnage on the Irish people in the 70s and 80s. They are serial offenders. They cannot be let back.

Row of the Day

Technically this was yesterday, but the Irish Independent reported on a row between Alan Kelly and constituency rival Mattie McGrath in which the latter alleged that Kelly had to hide in his van. But a spokesperson for Kelly had this stunning comeback to the claim:

That only happened in the ice-cream van that plays the music in his head. He is making things up.

As an aside, Kelly responded to the re-release of his famous 2009 election rap, saying he’d “love to hear it in Coppers”.

Bull**** Claim of the Day

Alex White is at it again. Having mangled his Dallas analogies yesterday, the Labour minister claimed today that voting for Sinn Féin or any other left-wing parties would actually result in a right-wing government. He argues:

Sinn Féin has ruled itself out of Government unless Gerry Adams is Taoiseach. Every other party or grouping that purports to be left-wing lacks the numbers or intent to go into Government. So, if left-leaning people don’t use their vote to support Labour, the most likely outcome is an administration led by Fine Gael with the support of Fianna Fáil or other right-leaning parties or independents.

White is doing what no politician should do in an election and presuming the decision of the electorate will mean that others will “lack the numbers”. Not a single vote has been cast. Assume nothing.

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WTF Moment of the Day

There’s no need for this carry on.

screenshot.1454699194.39851 Source:

It was a good day for

Source: whatrye24/YouTube

It was a bad day for

Maybe something for tonight's TrailFix  (1)

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

  • Fine Gael: Enda Kenny will be setting out plans to create 93,000 jobs from start-ups and will later canvass in Dublin South Central and then Dublin South-West. 
  • Labour: Joan Burton is in Kildare to launch the party’s rural economic plan. She will also canvass in Laois. 
  • Sinn Féin: Mary Lou McDonald is launching the party’s childcare policy in Cabra.
  • Fianna Fáil: Michéal Martin will be campaigning through Tipperary with Fianna Fáil’s candidates there.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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