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The Leaders Debate through the eyes of a sports fanatic

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I can’t help it. At every turn in current affairs I draw comparisons to the world of sport. Watching the leaders debate last night on TV3, I could easily find myself drawing comparisons between the four parties commanders in chief with managers from the world of sport. This is my tongue-in-cheek review, but be sure to comment below and let me know what you think

Enda Kenny

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Sporting Counterpart – Manuel Pellegrini

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Performance on the Night

Kenny came out with all guns blazing. He was more aggressive than what people would have expected. As the debate descended into chaos, Kenny adopted a more statesman type demeanour become more reserved and calculated

Verdict

While may not be the most exciting of leaders and while he might not be performing the best at the moment, you can expect him to be victorious when all is said and done

Michéal Martin

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Sporting Counterpart – Jacques Brunel

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Performance on the Night

A solid performance and came across as an experienced debater. He was able to articulate his points however decended into school yard type behaviour at times. If there was a winner on the night, Martin would have just tipped it. Martin however seemed to be fixed on Sinn Féin and highlight the flaws of the Sinn Féin manifesto rather than going after Fine Gael.

Verdict

Much like the Italian Rugby teams coach, he might tell his charges that they will win the 6 Nations but everyone knows there isn’t the faintest of hope that they could win. Much like the Italians, he can only hope Fianna Fáil try their best and hope to get a few scalps. Going after Gerry Adams in the manner which he did would suggest he plans on being the senior partner in Opposition

Joan Burton

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Sporting Counterpart – Louis van Gaal

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Performance on the Night

Certainly a devisive figure, Burton seemed to hang onto the coat-tails of Kenny teaming up to deliver a series of blows to Martin and Adams. But much like the Man United boss, the potential strengths of her record such as the economy were missed as she instead congratulated Martin in what is likely to be the faux pas of the night.

Verdict

No one fully knows how either one will finish. Both seem to have the executioners axe looming over their neck but both also see the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Both are depending on some must win results over the coming weeks to be considered anything other than a failure. The weight of expectation must weigh heavily on both

Gerry Adams

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Sporting Counterpart – Tim Sherwood

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Performance on the Night

Without a doubt, one of the more entertaining characters in the debate. Adams was on the defensive throughout with the Special Criminal Court being a stick he was hammered with. Adams was drawn back to his colourful past but maintained composure as he looked to the future

Verdict

As entertaining as Adams and Sherwood may be, extreme claims and outlandish plans will scupper their chances of gaining credibility. Out of their debt at times and trying to portray an outwardly confident persona, one suspects inside they are screaming “WHAT AM I DOING HERE”

Politics

McGrath calls on political parties to form grand coalition

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“The time has come to consider forming a National Government,” Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that strong consideration must be given to the idea of forming a National Government in order to avoid destabilising level of political impasse. Deputy McGrath went on to say that such arrangement could utilise the d’Hondt method as a fair means of allocating positions and seats within such a government :

“Given that we are in such unchartered territory and given the absolute necessity of ensuring we have some kind of political stability for our people, then I believe all options should be considered with respect to government formation.

The single most important objective here is that we create conditions where the needs of the people can be met.

It is time to set aside narrow political interests and to put the needs of the people first.

If that involves all parties and groupings in the Dáil compromising in order to agree a common government platform, the maybe that is something we ought to consider.

This election has sent the political class a clear message from the people; they want delivery, they want results.

We all should be courageous and imaginative enough to consider any option which will bring that about including that of a National Government,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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Community

Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations

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I welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture today that six Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations will benefit from €86,000 between them.

Applications for 2020 funding will be open soon. All applicants must be registered with the Charities Regulator.

Cappanagarrane Horse Rescue, Mullinahone – €6,000

Great Hounds in Needs, 7 Cois Coille, Kilcash, Clonmel – €2,000

Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Ballygemmane, Thurles – €14,000

PAWS Animal Rescue, Mullinahone – €45,000

Roscrea SPCA, Roscrea – €18,000

The Haven Rescue, Tipperary, C/o 26 The Haven, Roscrea – €1,000

Funding for Animal Welfare Organisations is vital for them to continue to carry out their work.

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Politics

The people will no longer tolerate political excuses for lack of delivery – Mattie McGrath

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Independent TD Mattie McGrath has warmly thanked the people of Tipperary for renewing their confidence and trust in him after he was re-elected following Saturday’s General Election. Deputy McGrath, who received 13, 064 votes in the 2016 General Election increased his vote this time around to 15, 127. Speaking after his re-election he went on to say that the outcome of the national vote was a clear and unequivocal rejection by the public of the arrogance and unwillingness of the Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to effectively respond to the core issues affecting the majority of ordinary people’s lives:

“At the outset I want to salute and warmly thank the great people of Tipperary for renewing their trust in me.

I am truly humbled by their confidence and will do everything in my power to honour the mandate they have given me by representing their interests in Dáil Eireann.

I also want to thank the amazing work of my entire campaign staff; my Campaign Manager and daughter, Triona O’Flynn, my wife Margaret and all my family and friends who have sustained me and supported me and without whom I simply could not do what I do.

They have worked tirelessly, night and day, to canvas the enormous geographical area of Tipperary and to meet the people on my behalf when I could not be there personally.

As we go forward from here, I think it is absolutely clear that politics in Ireland simply has to change.

It must re-engage with the day to day priorities of people’s lives especially around health and housing.

The government, whoever it will be, must listen and act in the people’s interest. It cannot be politics as usual once they have their feet under the Ministerial tables.

We must rid our politics of the kind of elite detachment that came to characterise the outgoing government.

We must escalate change and bring about genuine improvements in the quality of life of our people. The people are sovereign. The last government ignored that basic political reality by pushing ahead with failed policies, massive over-spends and a culture where accountability was almost completely absent.

The people have now enforced accountability upon them in the most democratic way possible.

I look forward to playing an active part in the talks that lie ahead and to advancing the interests of the people of Tipperary,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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