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The TrailFix: We need to talk about Gerry's maths problem

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

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

CbfWpieXIAQPOmL Some Renua candidates had to hold TV mics as the party launched its policy on healthcare in Dublin today Source: Hugh O'Connell

Everybody’s talking about 

By his own admission Gerry Adams isn’t good at maths. Last year, the Sinn Féin leader told us this isn’t a problem, but for a party that wants to be taken seriously as an alternative to the current government it really is. Sinn Féin scored an early campaign win with its fiscal space success, but much of that work was arguably undone by two poor interviews Adams did on RTÉ today.

This morning he clashed repeatedly with Seán O’Rourke during a tetchy interview on Radio 1 where the Louth TD seemed to struggle on the details of the party’s economics proposals. This evening, he faced similar difficulties on the Six One News where Bryan Dobson was the interviewer.

At one point, Adams claimed that anyone earning less than €100,000 would not be impacted by Sinn Féin’s tax plans. This is not true when you examine the proposed changes to pension tax reliefs which will impact people earning as low as €50,000. Even Adams attempt to goad Dobson by asking if he earns over €100,000 fell flat as the experienced broadcaster admitted, without missing a beat, that he does.

Details matter, leaders must show competence on issues like this. It’s why Enda Kenny was widely criticised for claiming on day one of the campaign that the people don’t understand “economic jargon” when it was clear he struggled with it himself.

Adams is held to no greater a test than any other party leader, and on the numbers he consistently comes up short.

Slap Down of the Day

There were quite a few today so we picked two.

  1. Michael Noonan saying that Pearse Doherty took his maths grinds at the ‘Gerry Adams Maths School’.
  2. Adams’s constituency rival, Labour’s Ged Nash, said the Sinn Féin leader “is a man who has to take his shoes off to help him count to 20″.


FactCheck of the Day

download (1)

As part of our general election coverage, we’re testing the truth of claims made by candidates and parties on the campaign trail. Tonight, Dan MacGuill has looked at whether Fine Gael is right to say it has maintained disability spending?

Bull**** Claim of the Day 

Michael Noonan has clearly been inhabiting a parallel universe for the last two weeks.

Row of the Day

Can we trust Fianna Fáil to run the economy and the country again?

jimnoel 1

That was the central question in our latest High Table Election Debate between Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan and Fine Gael’s Noel Rock.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

WTF Moment of the Day

Everyone had a bit of fun with Labour’s ‘No Direction’ newspaper ad, including Fianna Fáil.

And the Anti-Austerity Alliance’s Paul Murphy.

It was a good day for 

Source: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin/YouTube

It was a bad day for 

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

  • Fine Gael: Richard Bruton and Simon Coveney will launch Fine Gael’s plans to support small Irish businesses. Enda Kenny is still at the EU summit in Brussels. 
  • Labour: Joan Burton will outline the party’s plans for equality. She’s also on TV3′s Ireland AM in the morning.
  • Fianna Fáil: The party is launching its education policy in Dublin. Micheál Martin will do an interview with Seán O’Rourke before travelling to Mayo for an election rally.
  • Sinn Féin: Mary Lou McDonald will reveal a new election billboard on water charges in the morning.
  • Renua: The party will be telling us about its zero tolerance approach to white collar crime in the morning.
  • Green Party: The party will outline proposals to create a national housing authority.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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