Fianna Fáil has responded to confirmation that Richard Bruton will take the Taoiseach’s place in the RTÉ Leaders’ debate on the Seanad referendum.

Fianna Fáil Director of Elections Niall Collins commented, “At the eleventh hour, Fine Gael have confirmed that Richard Bruton will replace the Taoiseach in the RTÉ Leaders’ Debate.

“It is very frustrating that Fine Gael has spent the last week play acting instead of taking seriously the need for an open and honest public debate on the future of the Seanad.  This is the behaviour of a party that thinks it has this referendum in the bag and doesn’t want to upset the result by being confronted with the truth in open debate. It’s an insult to voters.

“Our constitution and the electorate deserve more respect from the lead party in government.  Our hope is that Fine Gael will now put aside the negative campaigning and personal attacks and engage with the substance of the issue in tonight’s debate.”