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The first presidential debate sees the ‘Magnificent Seven’ lay their cards on the table Photo by: RTE

Ireland’s seven presidential candidates spell out their positions in first debate

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The first presidential debate sees the ‘Magnificent Seven’ lay their cards on the table Photo by: RTE

All seven candidates for the Irish presidential election took part in a debate yesterday on Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE. The debate allowed each candidate to set out their arguments as to why they should be elected as Ireland’s ninth president.

Sinn Fein’s candidate Martin McGuinness said that he had put is life on the line for the Northern Ireland peace process. He said that the Irish people would judge him for his work.

Independent candidate Senator David Norris said that he was not hiding anything with relation to the letters of clemency he wrote for a former lover. He said legally he could not release the letters.

Gay Mitchell, Fine Gael’s candidate said he would work with the government to ensure the country is heading in the right direction at a crucial time.

Michael D Higgins, the Labour Party’s candidate said he has the stamina and energy to run as President.
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Independent Dana Rosemary Scallon explained that she stood against the bishops in the abortion referendum as she believes the Irish people had not been properly informed of the facts. She also said she has always promoted the rights of the Irish people.

Mary Davis, an Independent, said her track record of involvement in the Special Olympics for 30 years spoke for itself.

And finally Sean Gallagher, another Independent said he wanted to bring confidence to the country. He also wants to deal with the most current issues – unemployment, emigration and Ireland’s lack of confidence.  

Government leader, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, has said that he had no plans to introduce a reform to the Presidential nomination process. He added that after the next President of Ireland is elected a Constitution convention will be formed a these changes will be considered.

The election will take place on Thursday, October 27.

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