In the debate between presidential candidates Gay Mitchell and Martin McGuinness featured on Newstalk’s Dunphy Show, the jury seems to have come down firmly on the side of the Sinn Féin candidate. On several occasions a hyper-aggressive Mitchell was caught out with factual errors and repeatedly tried to spin the debate, at one point bizarrely claiming that he was not “afraid” of Martin McGuinness. In fact the only person who should have been afraid was perhaps the presenter Eamon Dunphy as Mitchell took several opportunities to attack him, including threats of reporting him to the Broadcasting Commission for alleged bias.
The most telling moment of the debate was probably the reaction of the Fine Gael candidate on the live video feed from the studio, when he was confronted by the tweet directed towards McGuinness by Paul Kehoe, the Fine Gael government chief whip: “Why would you need your salary when you have the proceeds of the northern bank at your disposal.”
Mitchell put his head into hands in a gesture of despair.
It seems that the Eurocrat lifestyle of champagne and cappuccinos has hasn’t left him entirely forgetful of what can happen in a democracy.