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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Leah Farrell/
# Poll
Poll: Should Mary Lou be allowed partake in RTÉ and Virgin Media's party leader debates?
Sinn Féin has complained about the party’s exclusion from two debates.

CONTROVERSY HAS BUILT over the exclusion of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald’s exclusion from two televised leaders’ debates ahead of this year’s general election.

Yesterday it emerged that Sinn Féin is seeking legal advice over McDonald’s exclusion from RTÉ’s leaders’ debate on 4 February, while the party also wrote to Virgin Media to object to a head-to-head debate between the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaders this week.

Virgin Media Television argued that coverage is in accordance with BAI guidelines, and was allocated on the basis of party performance in the 2016 general election and the local elections in 2019.

RTÉ also told the Irish Times that the decision was made to host a head-to-head debate between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin on the basis of the 2016 election and other elections since, as well as “other factors”.

The broadcaster also said other party leaders would face off during a debate on Claire Byrne Live on 27 January.

However, Sinn Féin’s performance in two opinion polls – the most recent of which put the party just two points behind Fine Gael – has led to calls for McDonald to be included.

But what do you think? Should RTÉ and Virgin Media include Mary Lou McDonald in their leaders’ debates?

Poll Results:

Yes (20961)
No (4066)
I don't know/No opinion (430)