Ógra Shinn Féin, the youth wing of the party currently riding third highest in the national polls on 20% of the vote took a, possibly ill-advised, skewed stance on leader Mary Lou McDonald’s strong performance during RTE’s seven-way Claire Byrne Live debate on Monday night.
“Mary Lou putting manners on posh boys. This is why the RTÉ board doesn’t want her on; she’d make shite of them both,” the grouping tweeted. As was pointed out in short order, Ms McDonald is the only one of the three main leaders to have been privately educated whilst growing up in the less than-ghetto-like Dublin suburb of Churchtown.
There was a noticeable absence of Tipperary’s finest, Alan Kelly, from the rostrum of Labour’s manifesto launch. Mr Kelly’s own campaign launch had taken place in Nenagh over the weekend, and he remained in situ, it seems, for a local debate on RTÉ radio.
Still, as one of his party’s strongest performers, his absence was noticeable. Then again, he and Mr Howlin have not always seen eye to eye in recent years, ever since the latter pipped Kelly to the Labour top job in 2016.
Sinn Féin has faced an avalanche of criticism from all sides over the alleged nature of its governance and decision-making structures as parties queue up to say why they won’t go into Government
with it. Now it is even getting it in the neck from former members.
Peadar Tóibín, who leads Aontú after quitting Sinn Féin over its stance on abortion has claimed that individual TDs under Mary Lou McDonald are prevented from choosing their own staff members, while policy decisions are “handed down” to elected officials after being decided upon by “six or seven people”. Ms McDonald dismissed those claims as “absolutely untrue”.
— Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary, tells Reuters how things are very different for his party this time around after the darkdays of 2011 and its last adventure in Government. His use of the word ‘build’ may be a little unfortunate.
Michael Healy-Rae posted a video on Twitter in which he told the world: “That feeling when your Insta is No1 in the country” accompanied by a meme of him dancing, complete with a cap and a Haiwaian shirt and shorts.
He wrote: “Just want to thank everyone who has been following our online campaign...we’re embracing the digital side of things this year.”
Just want to thank everyone who has been following our online campaign ...we're embracing the digital side of things this year 😉January 28, 2020
Days don't come much worse than today did for Fine Gael’s Catherine Noone. While her ill-advised comments about her party leader and autism may have been forgiven by Leo Varadkar following her hasty apology, the outrage over what she said is likely to linger for a few days at the very least.
And at this stage of an election several days is the equivalent of several millennia.