It's here, the last political debate of Election 2016

It's here, the last political debate of Election 2016

Update 11.00pm: The Taoiseach was put under pressure on Fine Gael's tax plans, which moderator Miriam O'Callaghan said would give greater benefits to higher earners:

"The point I'm making is that every worker will benefit from Fine Gael's tax plan."

Update 10.50pm: Labour leader Joan Burton said the economy inherited from the previous government meant some pre-election promises had to be broken:

"When we came in after Micheal and his party had finished with the country, the cupboard was bare.

"What I did as Minister for Social Protection and Deputy Leader then of Labour, was I sought to keep the weekly payment of social welfare absolutely intact."

It's here, the last political debate of Election 2016

Update 10.40pm: Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams said all the major problems now facing Ireland were the result of the three other people taking part:

"Everything that is wrong with our society now is a result of the decisions taken by the people on my left, Micheal did drive the bus over the cliff, now he wants the keys back to get into the bus again.

"The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste had choices to make, they made the wrong choices in support of the golden circle instead of in support of the people."

Update 10.20pm: The Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said the government had presided over a series of major crises that only a new government could fix:

"People need and want the change in government to bring about a fair and more decent society.

"We just had the situation the last few days, again, where homelessness is gone to record levels.

"1,700 children are now in emergency accommodation.

"We cannot keep this going, cannot keep it going, record numbers again on trolleys in emergency departments."

It's here, the last political debate of Election 2016

Update 10.12pm: The debate began with each leader being challenged about their previous records in government on either side of the border.

Fine Gael's Enda Kenny said the coalition needed a second term to make sure that every citizen could feel the benefit of an improved economy:

"I accept that many people are not feeling the recovery, but that's why we need a second term to complete the job that people gave us, which was to fix our public finances and put our people back to work.

"The bigger signals from the country, the sacrifices people have made have been enormous.

"So our plan is to create 200,000 jobs by 2020 and reduce taxes."

The four main party leaders have arrived at RTÉ TV for the last of the political debates in Election 2016.

Enda Kenny of Fine Gael, Micheal Martin of Fianna Fáil, Joan Burton of Labour and Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin will battle it out on live TV to win over undecided voters.

The televised debate gets underway at 9.35pm.

It's here, the last political debate of Election 2016

Speaking earlier in Rathfarnham, Micheál Martin said he will be focusing on the issues that are hurting the people:

"I will focus on the issues, offering constructive solutions to the challenges and every-day problems people face in their lives.

"I think that's been a constant theme of this campaign and we've picked this up - that people in different sets of circumstances have real issues in terms of their daily lives, from health to education to childcare to just getting by as families, you know I'll be reflecting a lot of that."

More on this topic

Water charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leaderWater charges 'will be collected'; Joan Burton expected to step down as Labour leader

Independent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by ThursdayIndependent Alliance say FG will have to agree to 'radical proposals' for a govt by Thursday

Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'Talks with Independent Alliance could delay govt formation; SF says FF have 'lost credibility'

Leo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrathLeo Varadkar's govt formation comments 'misleading and self-serving', says Michael McGrath


More in this Section

Missing woman forest search finds ‘nothing of significance’Missing woman forest search finds ‘nothing of significance’

Lunney family endured ‘week from hell’ after Quinn executive abducted and attackedLunney family endured ‘week from hell’ after Quinn executive abducted and attacked

Gardaí seek help locating two girls, 12 and 13, missing from DublinGardaí seek help locating two girls, 12 and 13, missing from Dublin

Woman airlifted to hospital after slipping at Howth HeadWoman airlifted to hospital after slipping at Howth Head


Lifestyle

Venetia Quick, co-founder of ‘Grief Encounters’ tells Ruth O’Connor that there is no right or wrong way to grieve the death of a loved one.Grief Encounters: Podcast opening up conversation about bereavement

Once again for this week’s review I was reminded about the quality of Irish meat — and yet it seems the meat processors expect our farmers to produce it at a loss.Restaurant Review: Mister S, Camden St Upper, Dublin 2

Your guide to what's going on in the gardening world this week.Gardening notes: Your guide to what's on

I went to Holy Faith in Clontarf in Dublin and I still have a big group of friends from school. These days, like most people, we use a WhatsApp group to communicate!School Daze with Nadia Forde: I wish I had embraced my differences at school

More From The Irish Examiner