Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley TD said that the decision of Fine Gael to have as short an election campaign as possible should not be allowed as an excuse for handlers to hide their Party Leader Enda Kenny.

Deputy Dooley commented, “As another expected announcement day for the commencement of the General Election slips past, it is clear that we are facing a very short General Election period. Fine Gael have good reason to favour a short campaign, as they seek to minimise the examination of their five years in Government, but it is absolutely crucial that the short campaign is not allowed as an excuse for handlers to hide Enda Kenny from proper debate.

“We have never before had a Taoiseach who puts as much effort into avoiding proper scrutiny and who has been more tightly managed. Fine Gael decided a long time ago that keeping Enda Kenny away from real debate was their best chance of keeping him in place.

“However, as we face into a crucial General Election, hiding Enda Kenny is simply not good enough. He needs to be held to account for the crises his Government have caused in housing and the health service. He has to explain his claim to offer stability while 1600 children live in emergency accommodation and a surge in crime leaves communities across the country in terror. He needs to spell out the implications of his vision for ‘US Style taxes’ for middle income earners and public services.

“Fine Gael will try to rerun the 2011 election campaign, ignoring their record in office and limiting Enda Kenny’s appearances as much as possible. But, whether Mr Kenny likes it or not, voters have a choice in this election and will demand a proper examination of what each of the parties are offering. Fianna Fáil will embrace every opportunity to spell out our vision of an Ireland for all. The same must be demanded of Fine Gael.”