MINISTER for Finance Michael Noonan and Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan are both unavailable to take part in Vincent Browne’s People’s debate in the Strand Hotel tonight.
The Limerick Leader understands that Minister Noonan will be in Brussels, while Minister O’Sullivan has Cabinet meetings in Dublin, and Fine Gael deputy Kieran O’Donnell is hoping to confirm his attendance today.
Fianna Fail deputy Willie O’Dea is the only elected representative at national level to have confirmed his attendance.
A number of local general election candidates will be attending, including Maurice Quinlivan, James Gaffney, Sarah Jane Hennelly, Cian Prendiville, and Desmond J Hayes amongst others.
Standing room only is expected as the broadcaster hosts debate in front of an assembled audience. Pitched as “a pioneering television project that allows people from all over Ireland to have their say on the most important issues facing Irish society”, the programme is travelling to all 40 constituencies to give people an opportunity to debate with their directly elected TDs on national and local issues.
It is expected that up to 400 will be accommodated in the Strand hotel. Questions and topics for the debate will be dictated by the audience on the night. The broadcaster, who hails from Limerick, earlier held another’s people’s debate in Rathkeale this April.
The event is free to the public to attend from 7pm tonight. It will be televised on Wednesday night on TV3.