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that escalated quickly

With mutters of 'Jesus Christ', an exasperated Vincent Browne presided over a bizarre debate last night

13 chairs were hauled into the TV3 studios for last night’s Carlow-Kilkenny debate. They were lucky candidates didn’t start hitting each other with them.

WE’RE NOT SURE who came up with the idea of hauling 13 kitchen chairs into the TV3 studios for last night’s by-election debate – but perhaps it wasn’t the ideal format to go for.

Carlow-Kilkenny candidates who spoke to in recent days had been working hard on their key points in the run-up to this week’s pre-recorded Vincent Browne show.

No doubt producers will have been aware of the criticism that greeted the RTÉ EU debates last year – when independent and smaller party candidates were essentially given second billing to the bigger names, during Prime Time TV debates.

However, the ‘all at once’ format of the #VINB programme – broadcast last night – presented its own problems.

Particularly since one candidate in particular – Independent Daithí Holohan – was intent on having his voice heard, no matter whose turn it was to speak…

vin8 TV3 TV3

Holohan was threatened several times with ejection from the studio, as he persisted on interrupting – and Vincent used every method in his (considerable) arsenal, from shouting to pleading, to try and get him to keep quiet.

Eventually, he just seemed to resign himself to the chaos – silently shaking his head, and muttering ‘Jesus Christ’.

vinchrist TV3 TV3

It should be noted – and Vincent mentioned this himself – Holohan wasn’t the only one interrupting. None of the candidates managed to land a knock-out blow, as speakers struggled to be heard above the hubbub from their competitors.

The ‘put your hand up if you want to say something’ plan worked for a bit- but eventually descended to a Transition-Year-at-3pm-on-a-Friday-in-late-May standard of efficiency.

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Having said all that, people seemed to enjoy it…

Judge X Factor / YouTube

You can watch the whole mad affair on the TV3 player.

Read: Someone fell over on Vincent Browne last night and oh, how everyone laughed

Read: One of Vincent Browne’s guests walked off the show last night

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