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Old 01-02-2020, 04:27 PM
Bill O'Reilly Bill O'Reilly is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Micheál Martin suffers setback in stumbling RTÉ interview

Friday, January 31, 2020 - 09:55 PM

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has suffered his first significant setback of the General Election following a below-par interview on RTÉ Television.

He said his own staff signed him to introducing an emergency rent freeze as demanded by a charity, even though his own party have said such a move is unconstitutional.

In a television interview on RTÉ, Mr Martin appeared to stumble over a number of answers on the rent freeze issue posed by broadcaster Bryan Dobson.

Mr Martin had previously committed to introducing a rent freeze but has since backed away from it citing legal advice. The Cork South-Central TD said his party will not be exploring the idea of a rent freeze if elected to Government.

During the interview, Mr Martin was quizzed by Mr Dobson about the pledge made to the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI).

It emerged last week that while Mr Martin was among a group of political leaders to back the manifesto, he and his team did not realise one of the commitments contained in it was an “emergency rent freeze”.

“People from headquarters sent that over and that is something that they have dealt with. We are not promising a rent freeze because it is unconstitutional,” he said.

His comments drew an immediate response from Sinn Féin's former President, Gerry Adams, who quipped “shadowy figures,” a reference to criticisms from Mr Martin in recent days as to how Sinn Féin as a party operates.

Mr Martin also struggled to explain a major typo in his party's manifesto over how many houses they intend to build, if elected to office.

The manifesto originally stated the number would be 250,000 over five years, but Mr Martin said the typo "had been explained to journalists" and the real figure was 200,000.
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