Facebook hosts General Election debate in Dublin

Facebook hosts General Election debate in Dublin

Update 1030pm: Timmy Dooley has caused waves on Twitter with his comments on corporate tax.

Update 10.10pm: Mary Lou McDonald on student fees: "There's no doubt the registration fee is an issue."

"If we're serious about giving our young people the best chance that we can we need to remove those fees."

"I think it is a smart investment to invest in education."

Update 9.50pm: Facebook says there has been 4.7 million interactions on its site about the General Election.

The social network reports that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been the most widely discussed political leader of the campaign so far.

Facebook is hosting a General Election debate at its European Headquarters in Dublin tonight.

"We have seen in elections right around the globe that people actually turn to Facebook to share with their friends the issues that will define the way that they vote leading up to polling day.

"What we've seen is actually, thus far, health has taken a slight lead in the way that people are talking about this election, until just about a week ago when the economy budged ahead."

Update 9.35pm: First up is Leo Varadkar who says the area of health has been given priority but, "we can't do everything."

Mental health has been a topic largely ignored in previous debates.

Original story: Facebook is hosting a General Election debate at its European Headquarters in Dublin tonight.

The social network reports that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been the most widely discussed political leader on its site of this election campaign so far.

Tonight, seven politicians will go head to had in the debate broadcast on RTE 2 from 9.30pm.

They include Health Minister Leo Varadkar, Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald, Minister of State Aodhan O'Riordan, Independent Averil Power and Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley.

Facebook's Elizabeth Linder, says interactions and political engagement typically peaks online during a televised debate.

"At Facebook we refer to this as second-strain behaviour, so that is to say as people are watching a major event play out on television, they're sitting at home on their couch or out at a pub around the corner, reacting to and sharing information."

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