It’s nothing to do with the right-wing Catholics in his party (the anti-gay Creighton and the anti-“fornication” Mulherin), but Enda won’t “do” Vincent Browne. Thankfully, he’s only referring to a live TV debate on the Fiscal/Stability/Austerity/Call-it-what-you-will Treaty. And also thankfully, VB has offered to step aside, so we might yet get to see a leaders’ debate. Just as well, as Gerry Adams also previously avoided a VB debate and Enda has been doing his best to avoid everyone.
So Enda wouldn’t talk to Gerry, at least in front of VB. Gerry wouldn’t talk in front of VB either, but changed his mind. As long as he didn’t have to talk to Micheál Martin. And nobody wants to hear from O’Cuiv. Which is perfectly understandable.
But really – this treaty is supposed to be critical to Ireland’s future. “More important than a general election,” according to Taoiseach Kenny. Despite which, Enda still said no, he wasn’t going to go on TV3 because of some remarks Vincent Browne made in the past (for which he apologised).
So either the Taoiseach is lying about the importance of the referendum; or he’s telling the truth – the referendum really is more important than a general election – but he ranks his own pride above either.
Either way – when presented with an opportunity to debate with Adams, who has never been stellar in face-to-face debates, why didn’t Kenny leap at the chance?