Never Mind The Ballots: Prospective coalition kingmakers; Martin's withering put down

We take a sideways look at the election.

Never Mind The Ballots: Prospective coalition kingmakers; Martin's withering put down

Takeaway 1:

Mary Lou McDonald was put

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All talk now is about coalitions. But while the two parties won't work with Ms McDonald, she is open to coalition with them:

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, I understand the reticence around them.

“But the actual choice we have to make is whether we are going to allow the two to continue as the dominating and single force in Irish politics and government or whether we are prepared to step up. I am prepared to step up.”

Takeaway 2:

The Green Party is seen as prospective kingmaker in the coming Government, with predictions it will return significantly more than its current TD count of two.

But others are sniffing around the climate vote. On Wednesday Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Brid Smith described the “tensions” she was feeling in the Greens between those willing to go into coalition and those more militant about radical climate action.

She doubled down on that assertion yesterday saying the coalition issue “has opened up a hornet’s nest amongst their feminist and youth section”.

There’s an element of politics to this as PBP is hoping to shave off some of the Green climate vote for themselves.

Takeaway 3:

He backed out of taking legal action over his exclusion from the RTÉ debate earlier in the week, but that hasn't stopped Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín shouting from the rafters about "the media’s ongoing unfair approach towards voters and the general election".

In advance of tonight’s Leaders’ Debate on Virgin Media from which he was again excluded, Tóibín was determined to get at least some coverage of his party telling the media.

"This seems increasingly like a strategy to marginalise Aontú in this election, and its incredibly unfair not just to the party but to voters. What precisely are they afraid voters will hear? Something different and new? Surely that's what election debates should be about?"

Well Said:

“A politician not getting coverage is not a shocker. Complaining about it...” - Micheál Martin with a withering put down for Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher, who sent a tweet deriding RTE’s “pitiful” coverage of “EU matters of public interest” in the wake of Fine Gael’s EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan appearing on Wednesday evening’s Six One News.

The original tweet has now, naturally, been deleted.

Tweet of the day:

Good Day/Bad Day:

Good Day:

Sports Minister Shane Ross had a day to remember, with a €20 million

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Mr Ross described the announcement as marking a “new dawn” for Irish football.

Bad Day:

Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton, who accused the Irish Times journalist Fiach Kelly of “fabricating” a story concerning a “pause” being put on vote preference requests for his running mate, Senator

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Fine Gael’s director of elections Paschal Donohoe described Mr Kelly as a “journalist at the highest level of professionalism and integrity” whose stories are always “well researched”. Ouch.

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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