One Presidential Candidate Has Just Become Michael D's Biggest Competition

One Presidential Candidate Has Just Become Michael D's Biggest Competition

Last night the Presidential debate on Claire Byrne Live took place without the presence of reigning President Michael D. Higgins and presidential hopeful Sean Gallagher.

Instead, four of the six candidates Joan Freeman, Liadh Ní Riada, Gavin Duffy, and Peter Casey shared their vision for Ireland on the Presidential Debate.

After appearing on Claire Byrne Live, Liadh Ní Riada, a member of the European Parliament and Sinn Féin, shared a snippet from the show which concerned her views on challenging the establishment:

The presidential hopeful became a favourite amongst journalists, television personalities and the public on Twitter last night for her comments about the homeless crisis, water charges, anti-austerity, and a united Ireland. A fluent gaeilgeoir, Ní Riada lives in the Muskerry Gaeltacht in Cork:



Others criticised Ní Riada for commenting about Joan Freeman's relationship with a man several years ago who helped finance her campaign and when she drew a blank when asked who she would choose to appoint to her Council of State.

Freeman, who spoke passionately about mental health as a founder of Pieta House, revealed she voted No to repeal the Eighth Amendment on Dublin City FM but said her personal convictions would have no impact on her public duties.

Sean Gallagher's nomination, originally a favourite to contest Higgins's re-election, will be impacted by his decision to remain absent from the debate last night. The businessman shared an open letter on Twitter, asking Higgin's for transparency and inclusivity and revealed that he chose not to take part in the debate without the presence of all candidates.


Gavin Duffy, another winner from last night's debate, remarked on Gallagher's absence with "we have Sean Gallagher who thinks he's above this and above you."

The show was forced to take a break after an audience member shouted "I've had enough" at presidential candidate Peter Casey, who remains the candidate least likely to be elected President. The show had no scheduled breaks planned.

Last week Michael D. was 70% favourite to remain President of Ireland. You can catch up on the full presidential debate on the RTÉ player.

Also Read: Everyone's Tweeting About An Emotional Moment On RTÉ News Last Night

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Garret Farrell

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