Televised debate – and the winner is ...

A chara, – Good entertainment in the seven-way debate on RTÉ on Monday night. Here’s how I rated the performances. Richard Boyd-Barrett, used the stage to best effect in drawing in his audience. Mary Lou McDonald landed good counter-punches on her two main rivals. Leo Varadkar used humour to lighten his image while remaining statesman-like. Róisín Shortall was clear and incisive. Eamon Ryan was the the one with an overall vision. Micheál Martin was quick on his feet and good on detail. Brendan Howlin defended his corner well after getting a bad draw on the outside.

Overall winner? Claire Byrne, by a country mile, for handling the lot of them so effectively. – Is mise,


Hollywood, Co Wicklow.


Sir, – Claire Byrne for taoiseach. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.