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Joan Burton unbowed by pundits' TV debates verdict

Tánaiste Joan Burton says she made all her points at the Leaders' Debate
Ed Carty, Press Association

TEN days until polling and the hangover from round two of the television debates was taking its toll.

Joan Burton yet again got a low score from the seasoned pundits but, unbowed, she claimed she made all her points and it was the pretenders to the cabinet who engaged in "long rambling answers".

With Richard Boyd Barrett buoyed by rounds of applause for his TV performance, his People Before Profit-Anti Austerity Alliance went to the Irish Water HQ where Paul Murphy TD and other candidates ripped up their latest bills.

Still smarting at being frozen out of the RTE leaders' debate but Green leader Eamon Ryan's temper reached tipping point when he lashed the lack of concern over climate change issues.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald was in the High Court as temperatures rose over the campaign to protect the Moore Street terrace where the 1916 leaders held their last war council.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin stayed in the west after a solid showing in the debate and when it comes to political journeys he will only go as far as ruling out coalition with Fine Gael and Sinn Fein.

Enda Kenny continued his party's mantra of fears about an alternative to Fine Gael and Labour. Incidentally it might have looked as though the Taoiseach kept his head down when faced with six opponents on live TV but an Irish Examiner study showed he commanded the most air time - 14:39mins.

Youth Work Ireland, which works with 16 to 19-year-olds sent out their manifesto with the bald statement: "Jobs for us - not jobs for the boys."

For those who see money making opportunities outside the "recovery", Boylesports cut the odds of a second election this year into 2/1 and Paddy Power slashed the price on a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition from 11/8 to 6/5.

Oh, and in case there was any doubt, Claire Byrne, the no-nonsense broadcaster, was the hands down winner of the debate.

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