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An average of 430,000 people watched Virgin Media's six-way Áras debate

The number of people watching the televised presidential debate peaked at 738,400 viewers.

Image: Virgin Media One

THE FIRST TELEVISED debate of the presidential election featuring all six candidates attracted an average of 434,000 viewers, amounting to 44% of the total viewership.

The number of people watching the 90-minute debate on Virgin Media One peaked at 738,400 viewers. A further 10,500 viewers watched the debate, hosted by Pat Kenny, live on the Virgin MediaPlayer.

Almost 18,000 people tweeted the hashtag ‘#PKDebate’ over the course of the evening.

All six candidates took part in the televised debates: Michael D Higgins, Peter Casey, Gavin Duffy, Senator Joan Freeman, Seán Gallagher and MEP Liadh Ní Riada.

The debate itself threw up some moments of interest: the main one being Casey’s position on Traveller ethnicity.

Other highlights include an exchange between Ní Riada and Pay Kenny about the IRA, Joan Freeman telling Gavin Duffy that she “doesn’t need rescuing”, and Higgins accusing Casey of having a “fantasy list” of accusations against him. 

Voting day in the presidential election is just a week away – next Friday 26 October.

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