Sunday 20 January 2019

Million watch 'B-team' as 198 tune in to Enda

ENDA said we could all watch on the "worldwide Carrick" but it seems not very many of us did.

As up to a million people tuned in to see Eamon Gilmore and Micheal Martin on TV3, just 198 web-watchers were focused on Enda Kenny's townhall meeting.

Figures out today show that the number of viewers for his Leitrim address was minuscule.

And it is suspected that a large portion of those who watched his public meeting were members of the media.

At the same time TV3 says that 1,074m were honed in on Vincent Browne's leaders' debate which went ahead without Kenny.

But it too seems to have struggled to keep the public interested as hundreds of thousands tuned out after getting an initial intake of politics.

According to TV3 bosses the face-to-face battle which lasted over an hour had an average viewership of 411,000.

Fine Gael Leo Varadkar yesterday described it as a "B-team debate" because of his party leader's absence.


Mr Kenny is due to take part in a five-way debate also involving John Gormley and Gerry Adams on RTE next Monday.

Despite the lower-than-expected figure, the debate was the highest rating ever achieved by the independent television station for a current affairs programme.

It also caused a surge of Twitter activity with the debate becoming the third most popular topic worldwide for a time on Tuesday night.

Mr Kenny refused to go on the debate because of his dislike of programme host Vincent Browne who once suggested that the politician should commit suicide.

Commenting on the quiet role played by moderator Vincent Browne, Fine Gael's finance spokesman Michael Noonan said: "If he continues that way he may turn out to be a reasonably benign commentator in future."


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