Laois broadcaster Claire Byrne wants voters to get 'clear picture' from leaders in General Election RTÉ debate

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

general election #ge2020

Laois native Claire Byrne gets ready to host big General Election debate on RTÉ

Laois native Claire Byrne will be the face of RTÉ's first showcase debate of leaders hoping to lead their parties to success in the General Election and she is determined that voters get a clear picture of what is on offer.

Next Monday night, January 27, the Mountrath woman will host the biggest Election 2020 leaders debate of the campaign so far which will be broadcast live on RTÉ 1 from NUI Galway. 

The seven political parties leaders joining Claire on stage for the major two-hour live debate will be: Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin), Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael), Brendan Howlin (Labour), Micheál Martin (Fianna Fáil), Richard Boyd Barrett (Solidarity / People Before Profit), Eamon Ryan (Green Party) and Roísín Shortall (Social Democrats).  

RTÉ says the leaders will also face questions from an audience of over 300 people independently selected by RED C Research polling company. 

The broadcaster has already hosted a debate on the health service involving the various party health spokespersons. She is looking forward to the leaders' debate.

"I am really looking forward to bringing the national debate to Galway. I want voters to get a clear picture of what each party is offering. We'll be teasing out the key policies with the seven leaders with the sole aim of giving voters the information they need before they head to the polling booth on February 8," she said.

This is the second time a major leader's debate has been broadcast outside of Dublin. RTÉ's hosted a similar debate at the University of Limerick in 2016 which was also hosted by Claire Byrne. 

President of NUI Galway Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcoming the broadcast from Galway.

“NUI Galway is for the public good, belonging to the people and for society.  We’re delighted to partner with RTÉ to bring this important debate to Galway. The University is 175 this year, and our city is European Capital of Culture, so it’s fitting that the leaders of our country’s parties will meet here to outline their visions for the future of the nation.  We look forward to welcoming them to the West at this important moment of decision-making in our nation’s history,” he said.


RTÉ says the programme will be available to watch live on RTÉ One, RTÉ News Now and worldwide on the RTÉ Player.

Claire Byrne Live Leaders Debate, Monday 27th January at 9.35pm