We anticipate with great interest the third and final US Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump scheduled to take place tomorrow Wednesday October 19th at 9pm (US time).

Since Round 2 (to use boxing parlance) following the leaked tape and sex allegations around Donald Trump, the Republican candidate is said to have dropped up to 12 points in the polls.

Clinton on the other hand is gaining at Trump’s expense – yet the question remains – is she the figure-head Americans will vote for to become the next President of the United States?



Considering Trump’s bolshie, testosterone-fuelled performance in Round 2 in the face of the leaked tape controversy, it is likely he will once again sweep in to tomorrow’s debate full of swagger and intent. His game will no doubt be to deflect the spotlight from the growing scandals linked to his name and instead turn the tables on Clinton once more in an effort to demonise the Democratic candidate.

This final debate is Clinton’s to lose. No doubt her advice team will be weighing up what tactics will work best. Should she go in all guns blazing in attack mode or instead continue to play the slow and steady wins the race card?

Concerns around Clinton coming across as aggressive and unlikeable should be put on the back burner tomorrow night in order to give voice to the anger brewing among the American public around the quality of presidential candidates going forward.

Clinton needs to step up her performance at this critical outing. She has been handed a massive artillery  against Trump on a silver platter. She needs to run with the ball and not let it drop. She must return again and again to the Trump scandals now festering at the core of the Republican party and keep it going right to the end of the debate. She must appear strong.

Can she keep the momentum going and capitalise on this golden opportunity?

We await with bated breath.

For now, the prediction for this talk-fest from Las Vegas, Nevada is that Clinton will walk away with it. She will play the attack card and show the American public the real mettle that has taken her all the way to knocking on the White House door once again.

Little will it matter how either candidate addresses the first five segment topics in the debate, around debt and entitlements, immigration, economy, the Supreme Court and foreign areas of interest.

This debate is all about topic number six – which should be latched upon by Clinton from the outset; fitness to be president.


Special Areas of Conservation in Connemara are holding back urgent capacity and safety upgrades required along the N59 route in and out of Galway, despite the fact that Galway County Council has lodged planning applications to carry out re-alignment works.

A campaign is now being launched by the people of Connemara to lobby for the upgrade works in light of the many accidents and dangerous driving conditions along the route.

The issue is examined in detail on Galway County Matters on IRISH TV this week as haulage contractor Dermot Laffy who drives the N59 on a regular basis through places including Clifden, Letterfrack and Kylemore takes the camera crew on a sample trip.

 “It is not easy on these roads in Connemara, we have a lot of obstacles, with road width, bushes and telegraph pole problems leading to accidents because people have to move out to avoid them”, says Laffy.

“Many a time I have been stuck for an hour on a narrow stretch where we have to drive up and back down. In busy times with heavy traffic one cannot go back while one can’t go forward.”

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Nothing that accidents are commonplace along the route,  Laffy recalled a recent incident of an older couple having to be airlifted to hospital following a serious crash. “The emergency services on route to the scene also got into an accident when the vehicle could not pass a bus.”

The poor state of the road is also taking away from tourism potential in the area, according to Laffy.

“We would have an awful lot more buses in Connemara if we had a good road. So many bus drivers have said they can’t come because their vehicles are so badly damaged and getting beaten up on this route. There has to be a compromise on this.”

Liam Gavin, Director of Services, Roads and Transportation with Galway Council Council confirmed that the N59 from Oughterard to Clifden is in particularly poor condition, is  unsafe and in need of remediation and realignment.

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“We recognise the need for upgrade and accept that capacity and alignment is poor and the surface needs to be redone as quickly as possible. Galway County Council is anxious to do this work and has submitted a planning application to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) seeking permission for a section from Oughterard to Maam Cross. However, ABP has already turned down an application for the Maam Cross to Clifden section.

“The big issue is the environmental designations.  The route passes through very sensitive landscapes. To get planning permission because of the Special Areas of Conservation can take 3-5 years and another 2-3 to get up and running on the construction side, so we are quite a distance away from delivering realignment there. We are looking to overlay the route in the interests of safety in the interim. “


Former Connemara councillor, Seosaimh O Cuaig said while locals were all in favour of preserving things in Connemara, 80% of Connemara is under SAC.

“We are left with a little strip along the way to live – I call it the Gaza strip. This is not fair by any means.  We are not out to destroy SACs, all we need is a narrow corridor to have this road, it is our only route in or out to the rest of the country or of Europe.”

He contended that the Irish Government did not have to implement the SACs as they were only recommended by the European Commission. “It is up to each country to draw up its own boundaries.”

The cause has now united North Connemara and Irish-speaking South Connemara, he said.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen a campaign like this. It has just started but after next month it will be action and it is going to be real action. We will go all out. We need to get the national politicians interested. Shell in Mayo were turned down the first time they applied to build the Corrib Oil gas field but lo and behold Bertie Ahern Taoiseach said they would have another look if they reapplied and I think Galway County Council should reapply also.”

Galway County Matters presented by Jimmy Norman airs on Thursday October 20th at 7.30pm.

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Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to it when a particular individual suddenly gains a public following or a new trend catches on.

Such is the case with one of IRISH TV’s firm favourites – IRISH PAINT MAGIC – which goes out daily on the channel and enjoys continual positive feedback from happy viewers.

This is a series of painting demonstrations by Irish Artist David Willis with a particular focus on Irish landscapes and scenery.  The popular self-taught artist chats with viewers as he shares his painting tips while completing new works throughout the series.

To get a feel for what it is all about you really need to tune in and check it out for yourself. David Willis is not only a wonderful artist but also has a choice way with words and descriptions that help him communicate not just the visual elements but also how painting the pictures actually feels.

So many of us are artists at heart and perhaps that is why David touches a chord with so many. Even if you don’t rate your own artistic skills, watching David in full flow at his work is therapy in itself.

IRISH PAINT MAGIC  airs at 9am every week-day morning and also for those real early-risers can be seen from 5.30am-6.30am.






A heart-breaking story around a young teenage mother in 1970s Ireland who lost her baby boy to adoption will air on IRISH TV this week.

Sligo mother Maria Hayes recalls the painful details of having to part with her beautiful baby boy to give him up for adoption and the long-lasting impacts the separation had on her life.

Speaking to Claire Ronan on Sligo County Matters, Maria recalls feeling sick over the Christmas of 1976 and going to the doctor, who examined her and announced she was six or seven months pregnant.

“I could not believe what he was saying to me, even though I probably knew but I didn’t know until it was said to me. I remember him calling my mother in and saying to her, your daughter is pregnant. That’s when my story started.”

Maria recalls being put in the car and brought to Galway to live with a lady she knew briefly.

“It would have been a case of, what do the neighbours think; that’s the way it was back then. Out of sight out of mind was the thinking. That journey to Galway, I remember every bump and every corner on the route.  I’ve often taken it since and the memories still hit me.”

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After three months living with the woman Maria was admitted to hospital to have her baby.

“I was induced and I remember letting the doctor know how uncomfortable it was and his reply back to me was – you didn’t shout like this when you were having intercourse. That has always stuck with me. You don’t forget those things; they stay with you, like if you cut your finger.”

Eventually Maria gave birth to her son but did not get to see him until the day she left hospital.

“I got to hold him for a minute and I whispered in his ear, I’m going to come and find you – and I walked away.”

Because there was a delay in her friend coming to take her home Maria remembers standing in the long corridor all day looking down towards the baby unit.

“It was running through my head, you can go down there Maria, he’s your baby, you can take him home with you if you want. But yet that power was still holding me back; you have no place to go, you have no way of minding him, you don’t have any money to take care of him, you can’t bring the shame back home, so you’re going to have to leave him there.”

She spent the day in torture before finally her friend arrived.

“It was never spoken about, never ever spoken about again. I started doing counselling for myself because I couldn’t understand this emptiness that I was feeling. I did go on and got married and had my children in my marriage. You know each one of my children is so precious but you’re still missing your first born. You’re looking for this little face that you whispered in to the ear of, telling them that you’ll find him; That little person was missing out of my life and I needed to find that person, to complete what I was feeling, that emptiness.”

Thankfully there is a happy ending of a kind to the story as Maria recounts reuniting with her son as a young man. She did however seek out counselling to help her through the loss of her child to adoption through the organisation Danú, which she recommends as a support group to others who may also have walked around with a similar secret for years and years.

“I searched for a group where I could tell my story in an environment I felt safe in. I found it in 2007. We all had this one thing in common, we were all birth mothers.”

Maria found such sustenance in the group she now wants to get the message out to other birth mothers who may have also had to live through shame and secrecy and a sense of emptiness over the years.

See the full interview with Maria Hayes on Sligo County Matters Tuesday 18th October at 6.30pm.

The Danú Birth Mothers Group Sligo was set up in Sligo in 2005 to support mothers who have lost a child through adoption. Below is an excerpt from an information leaflet from the group. Please see the website for more.

Danú – Information leaflet for birth mothers

Your pregnancy was most likely unplanned and represented a crisis in your life. You may or may not have shared the experience with family members. If you did discuss it with others, you may have been advised that your child would benefit from being raised in a stable, two-parent family and that you would be acting sensibly and unselfishly by agreeing for your child to be adopted. Allowing your child to be adopted was probably presented to you as a way to show your love for your child.

You may have also been told that you would be bringing happiness to a couple who were unable to have children. It may be that you desperately wanted to raise your child but you had no financial support with which to achieve that goal. You may have been very young or felt quite powerless and the decisions about your child’s future may have been taken out of your hands. You may have felt inadequate as a mother or may not have wanted your child raised within your own family, if you, yourself, had not experienced a happy and secure childhood. You have may have hoped that your child was raised in a stable home with loving dedicated adoptive parents who accepted and loved your child unconditionally.

The impact of the loss of your child

At the time of your child’s adoption you were probably told that you could expect to recover from the experience quickly and that it need not have a negative impact on your life. In fact, research shows that for the majority of mothers who have lost children through adoption, the sadness resulting from this event has been long lasting. Many mothers kept their pregnancy a secret. Others did not, but they did not share the information with new people who entered their lives after the adoption of their child. Some did not tell subsequent partners or children. Secrecy has been a major issue for many mothers. Whether or not the pregnancy was a secret, it was rare for mothers to be encouraged to talk about their lost children. You were probably told that it would be the best for you to forget your child and go on with your life as if the child had never been born.

For those who knew about your child, they may have assumed that as you did not discuss the subject, it no longer concerned you. Because it appeared to others that you had chosen for your child to be adopted, they usually did not understand that you may have suffered greatly as a result of the separation from your child. You most likely did not receive any gifts, flowers or support when your child was born. The loss and grief that you experienced as a result of placing your child for adoption was also not recognized, this lack of support and care that you experienced would not have happened if you had bereavement. This lack of public acknowledgement may have contributed to your grieving process being delayed. For many years you may have denied, to yourself and perhaps to others that this child existed. However, there will have been frequent reminders, such as your child’s birthday, the births of other children, Mother’s Day and other times of loss in your life. You may have continued your relationship with your child’s father and had subsequent children or you may have had no subsequent children and have lost your only child through adoption. Perhaps you lost more than one child by adoption. Your thoughts about your lost child may have been complicated by feelings of guilt and shame, depending on the values and beliefs which influenced your behaviour at the time of the birth. For many years you may have felt that you were not being your true self as you hid your emotions. This may have given you a low sense of your own 3 value as a person.

IRISH TV can be viewed on Sky 191; Freesat 400; Free to Air and 


Here at IRISH TV we are not only spoiled with endless quality content to enjoy but also get to bask in the glow of the talents of our staff who are feted on a regular basis on the national stage.

We are now pleased to announce that our  Regional Producer for IRISH TV in Ulster, Aideen Hand, can take a well-deserved bow after being awarded the silver gong in the PPI (Phonographic Performance Ireland) Radio Awards as a winning Newcomer.

Aideen was nominated for the award following her work as a co-presenter on The Garden Show on Shannonside Northern Sound and could not have been more surprised when her name was called out at the awards ceremony held in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny.

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“I was put in for nomination with the local station I was working with, Shannonside Northern Sound and went on to be short-listed in September. To be honest I pretty much forgot about it because I was convinced I would not win but then my name was called out and I am just delighted . The PPI awards are like the IFTAs of radio and it was especially nice as I was the only woman of five other gentlemen in the category.”

PPI 2016 – Newcomer of the year Award


Michael Brophy  » Midlands 103

Marty Cullen  » BBC Radio Ulster

Garry Curran  » iRadio

Gavin Dowd  » FM104

Aideen Hand  » Shannnonside/Northern Sound

Aideen won the award for her work as co-presenter on the weekly Garden Show on Shannonside where she also provided general reporting cover work across various other programmes.

“I think the show was unique. Donal McEvoy, the gardening expert I worked with, we just had such great craic and nice banter together. The show was also very educational thanks to Donal’s expertise in the area and over time it built up a loyal following.”

Achieving recognition for her work is not something Aideen takes lightly.

“It really means a lot. It was always my dream growing up to present on radio and even though I have moved out of it now to work with IRISH TV, I did spend five years working with Raidio na Life and before that Q102 and Radio Nova.

“I was doing some part-time presenting with Dublin County Matters on IRISH TV since November and then I was delighted to get the full-time offer to bring my ideas around presenting, production and documentaries to the channel that gets the real stories out there.”

As she works on those ideas now with IRISH TV Aideen is looking forward to being part of the growth of the channel. In the meantime, she is enjoying the buzz from gaining recognition for her work and the memories of the surprise presentation night.

“As well as enjoying the PPI Awards I got to have a nice big slap-up meal and mix and mingle with the famous faces. The Manager at Shannonside is now getting a framed certificate of the award sent over to me and as soon as I get it I’m looking forward to putting it up on the wall.”







Pictured at the launch of the The Irish TV Gaelic Masters competition at The Imperial, Cavan at the weekend are back, l-r, Máirtín O’Reilly, Irish TV; John Duignan, Secretary, Gaelic Masters;  John Pat Sheridan, Chairman Gaelic Masters; David McShane, Donegal; Seamus Sororhan, Leitrim, Stephen Dolan, Leitrim. Front l-r, Damian Gormley, Tyrone; Pat Mulchrone, Mayo; Jerome McKiernan, Cavan; Colin Mallon, Antrim; Richard Donovan, Galway and Joe Corroon, Westmeath.

The launch of both the IRISH TV All-Ireland Gaelic Masters Semi-Finals/Finals and the Gaelic Masters international series against Australia took place in Cavan over last weekend.

The event provided an opportunity for players and club representatives to get together in advance of the competitive fixtures set to take place over the next number of weeks.

In the international series there are two Australia v Ireland test matches, the first to take place on October 19th at Kilkerrin, Clonbeirne, County Galway with the second test On October 22nd at The Denn GAA Club County Cavan.

The teams will compete for the Paddy Gaffney Memorial Cup, in honour of former Irish Masters footballer Paddy Gaffney from Cavan who hails from the Denn GAA club, with members of the Gaffney family in attendance at the launch.

The official announcement of the semi-finals pairings will also pave the way for the IRISH TV All-Ireland Gaelic Masters finals scheduled for November 12th while a training session will take place at 3.30pm in Breffni Park in Cavan.

Gaelic Masters, which caters to teams of inter-county senior players aged over 40, includes a Premier Final and a Shield Final. The hosting of a touring Australian team to play an Irish selection in two test matches adds an international dimension to the league.


The Gaelic Masters has been gaining considerable ground since it launched in 2012 with 12 counties going forward in the 2016 series, namely Mayo, Galway, Longford, Leitrim, Sligo, Westmeath, Offaly, Tyrone, Cavan, Monaghan, Antrim and Donegal. A number of other counties are tipped to join in 2017. Any county can get involved, there is a registration process and Gaelic Masters Committee and all players must be 40 years or older in the year they compete.

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The Irish TV Gaelic Masters competition was launched at The Imperial, Cavan on Saturday evening. The Gaelic Masters is a competitive inter-county tournament for footballers over 40 to compete after their sporting careers have come to an end. The Gaelic Masters like Irish TV is growing in popularity every year. At the launch from Longford are from left Sean McCaughey, PRO Gaelic Masters; John Duignan, Secretary; Gaelic Masters, James Breslin, Longford and Treasurer Gaelic Masters, John Pat Sheridan, Chairman Gaelic Masters and Pat Cullinane, Games Development Officer, Gaelic Masters. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

The Irish TV Gaelic Masters competition was launched at The Imperial, Cavan on Saturday evening. The Gaelic Masters is a competitive inter-county tournament for footballers over 40 to compete after their sporting careers have come to an end. The Gaelic Masters like Irish TV is growing in popularity every year. At the launch from Longford are from left Sean McCaughey, PRO Gaelic Masters; John Duignan, Secretary; Gaelic Masters, James Breslin, Longford and Treasurer Gaelic Masters, John Pat Sheridan, Chairman Gaelic Masters and Pat Cullinane, Games Development Officer, Gaelic Masters. Photo: Lorraine Teevan


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Pat Cullinane, player and PRO Galway Masters explains:

“Gaelic Masters Association is a group of players aged 40 or older who still have the energy and vigour to be playing, usually at junior or intermediate level for their own clubs and who wish to tog out for their county. Gaelic Masters allows players who are still active at our age to continue playing.

“Not every county has a team yet but we are well on our way with several more signing up. We expect it to grow and grow because there is huge popularity and interest in keeping fit and healthy both in terms of physical and mental health as well as through enjoying competitive sport.”

Mark Dempsey, Commercial Executive with IRISH TV added: “IRISH TV is delighted to have sponsored and broadcast both the Final and Shield Final of the Gaelic Masters live since 2014. The response to last year’s event was unbelievable. We had a huge crowd at the final in Clonbeirne in Co Galway.”

Former GAA President Dr Michael Loftus recalled that the competition started in 1990 within the GAA when it was known as the Masters Gaelic Football and ran for about 19 years.

“Fair dues to the Gaelic Masters, they recommenced it in 2012 and have kept it going. My advice is to keep playing, keep at it because of the medical and fitness benefits that accrue and also the social benefit from mixing with players for a long time. When I meet players of my vintage I am delighted to meet them – but wouldn’t it be great to meet them on the pitch again too!”

Gaelic Masters player for Mayo, John Pat Sheridan, said the competition grew from teams playing individual games on a round robin basis towards the semi-finals and then the finals.

“Our big breakthrough came with IRISH TV when they came in to broadcast the finals live. It was a great spectacle for Masters football and showcased our ability to compete and play at a competitive level at over 40. We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

Galway player John Davin added that the camaraderie was one of the best elements of the sport. “You’re playing with a lot of lads that you used to play against. That’s one of the big things. They say life begins at 40 but it definitely does with the Masters.”

The following players have been selected to represent Ireland in the upcoming International Rules matches v Australia

Lloyd Kelly, John Slattery, Sean O Dowd, Declan Meehan, Ger Keane, Ollie Hannon (Galway) Philip Rainey, Joe Corroon, Joe Cunnane (Westmeath) Bryan Hennelly, Sean McCaughey, Danny O Toole (Mayo) Eamonn O Hara, David Durkan, Con O Meara (Sligo) John Coyle, Declan O Neill, Mike Keane (Longford) Oliver Costello, Kiernan Fox, Mark Rehill, Christy Shiels, Jason O Reilly, Padraig Sheridan, Jerome Kiernan (Cavan) Gavan McElroy, Kevin Gormley, Mark Gallagher, Damien Gormley (Tyrone) Charlie Gallagher, Charlie Doherty, David McShane, Daniel Bradley (Donegal) Colin Mallon, Ronan Hamill (Antrim) John Kenny, Roy Malone (Offaly)

You can get in touch through facebook at Gaelic Masters or email


dublin-county-mattersOn this week’s Dublin County Matters social activist, broadcaster, journalist and comedian Dil Wickremasinghe talks to IRISH TV about her heart-breaking childhood and journey from her native Sri Lanka to Ireland where she met her now wife Annemarie with whom she has a 16 month old boy.

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Dill who presents a weekly show on Newstalk called Global Village and who is the co-founder of Insight Matters, discusses mental health issues, homelessness, immigration, child abuse, neglect, LGBT rights and family with presenter Rebecca Horan in a no-holds barred conversation.

Also on Dublin County Matters this week is a trip to Butlers’ Chocolate Factory in Clonshaugh Business Park to discover the business of hand-crafted chocolate in conversation with Kathy Smyth, Marketing Manager.


Finally as the Dublin Theatre Festival kicks off in earnest, IRISH TV catches up with Artistic Director Willie White to see what’s on offer this year and why it is one of the best festivals of its kind with a diverse offering across 18 nights.


dublin-theatre-festivalDublin County Matters airs Thursdays at 7pm.



Today marked budget day in Ireland and happily IRISH TV reporter Jennifer Conway was on hand at Government buildings to document the new measures that may or may not have an impact on your spending. Jennifer outlines below the main points to note from Budget 2017.


The new measures for Budget 2017 were set out this afternoon by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe in Dáil Éireann.

Beginning his speech on a positive note, Minister Noonan launched his sixth budget declaring that the Irish economy is in ‘good shape’ and that the government plans to cut taxes and spend more next year. The Minister added that jobs are being created in all sectors, so that instead of depending on the Troika, the economy is now in a sustainable position. He added that an available spend of €1.3 billion would largely be distributed between tax cuts (€300m); increases in social welfare payments and a subsidised childcare plan.

A new means tested childcare package to subsidise payments will come into force in September next year. The Jobseekers’ allowance will also increase with other social welfare payments up by €5 euro per week.

On another positive note, prescription charges for medical card holders over 70 will be axed, while the €5 euro increase in the weekly pension payment will come in to effect from March 2017. In further good news for the elderly, there is also an increase in the Christmas bonus which will translate as an additional €24 euro each year.

And that’s not all, first time buyers are to be entitled to a 5% grant up to €20,000 on newly built homes while the tax free rental allowance under the ‘rent a room scheme’ is to be increased to €14,000 euro annually.




As anticipated, USC bands for all workers earning up to €70,000 euro will be cut by 5%, with a 2% per year reduction in DIRT, down from 41% for the next 4 years. There will also  be an increase in tax credits for the self-employed by €400 euro.



Another welcome announcement is that the tax-free threshold for inheritance tax will rise to €310,000 euro, where the beneficiaries of a will are children, while for all other categories the threshold will rise by 8%.


In the area of health, spending is to be increased by €14.6 billion, the highest ever, €15 million of which is being put aside to tackle hospital waiting lists through the national treatment purchase fund.

Among the so-called “Brexit-proofing” measures, a lower VAT rate for the tourism sector was retained. Mr Noonan went on to say that Brexit ‘represents a real risk to our economy.’

“The best and most immediate policy under our own control to mitigate this risk is to control the public finances. We must also put in place economic shock absorbers to reduce or eliminate the impact of future economic shocks,” he stated.


Meanwhile, it wasn’t great news for smokers today, with a 50% hike per packet from midnight – which is expected to bring the price of a packet of 20 up to the €11 mark.

Excise duty on alcohol and fuel meanwhile remains unchanged.


Amid many ongoing salary disputes, The Public Expenditure Minister, Paschal Donoghoe addressed the issue of public pay and announced that €290 million euro is to be set aside for pay increases – under the Lansdowne Road Pay Agreement. The measures will also address some of the pay issues amongst almost 4,500 additional front-line staff – Gardai, nurses and teachers next year.

In further news, Minister Noonan confirmed that a sugar tax is set to be introduced in Ireland. A consultation process around how it will be implemented will begin immediately and run through to next January.

From the announcements today, Michael Noonan made it clear he remains committed to reducing Ireland’s national debt on a shorter-term scale than EU rules require. In his Budget speech, as he announced a revised debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) target of 45%, lower than the 60% required under the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact, he noted that the Government aims to hit the new domestic target by the mid 2020s.

Report by Jennifer Conway

Stay tuned to IRISH TV for more News Updates with Jennifer Conway

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Twitter: @irishtv

TV: Sky Channel 191/Freesat 400/ Free to Air/



We have had a little time to assimilate the second US Presidential debate and more pertinently, the lead in to it and the leaking of that video – revealing in intimate detail a side of Donald Trump many would prefer not to see in someone vying to become a leader on the world stage.

Who could have guessed that between debate #1 and debate #2 the scandal of Donald Trump speaking about women in the most derogatory, objectifying, disrespectful and sexual terms would be aired over and over to such cumulative effect that barely a man, woman or child could fail to bear witness?

Granted the video recording in question dated back 11 years and times and trends have of course moved on. Indeed public outrage as to what is and what is not acceptable in politically correct terms has also shifted gears.

Still, for even the most liberal of thinkers today, Trump’s utterances in the back of a tour bus in 2005 still rankle as sleaze of the highest order with most self-respecting citizens and proponents of equality condemning it outright.

The shocking exposé raised enormous hype that Trump would be finished off in round 2 of the debates with Hillary Clinton expected to simply march on to the podium and make mince-meat of him. But did she deal the deadly blow? Absolutely not; and why not?

Instead, after the build-up from the first US Presidential debate followed by the one and only VP debate, we had a fairly run-of-the-mill second installment between Trump v Clinton as the hot topic was quickly dispensed with and they moved on again to discussing the predictable issues from the venue of St Louis, Missori on Sunday night, where the town hall format was designed to give the American voting public a chance to have their say and hit the candidates with some select questions.


Following a weekend fuelled by argument and counter-argument over whether Trump should resign on the spot, the Republican Presidential candidate immediately dug in his heels at the very suggestion, insisting instead he would never withdraw. But what defence could he possibly mount to counter the attacks on his suitability to represent the American people?


Well, it appears the Republican Presidential candidate had little ammunition in his armoire other than to resort to describing the unfortunate revelations as nothing more than ‘locker room talk’ and ‘just words’, suggesting it was typical boy-talk around girl-talk.

Possibly oblivious to the inefficiency and impropriety of his excuse which he repeated again and again, Trump simply did not seem to register how poorly it cut the mustard. Was he saying that all men talked about all women in these terms? Was he suggesting it was acceptable to do so, so that he might do so again?

While apologising on numerous occasions to his family, his party and the American nation for speaking in such crass terms, his biggest regret was clear for all to see. He was sorry he had been caught.



It could be argued that Clinton failed to launch the anticipated morality missile attack with much forcefulness, if any at all. Addressing the topic in the initial few minutes, as part of an audience participant question around modelling appropriate behaviour for the youth of today, she iterated the many examples of Trump as he insulted both women and men left and right along the campaign trail.

Having made her points and named names, there was a sense however that she very quickly went off topic and actually withdrew at this early stage from the confrontation. Later in her closing remarks she seemed to attempt to account for this by declaring that her focus in the presidential campaign was to tackle the issues affecting American people – and not personal issues.

All of this only served to turn the spotlight on Clinton rather than Trump. With public outrage so triggered and Republican party members dropping away from their candidate like flies, did Clinton not have a moral duty of a kind to at least attempt to bring her opponent down?

Instead, as she sat lopsided on her stool, sporting a fixed, unconvincing smile, Trump puffed out his chest and prowled around her, lobbing one vindictive charge after another as he railed about classified emails, homeland security, abuse of women by Bill Clinton and general goings on within the Clinton camp.

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In effect, Trump set the agenda for the debate as soon as Clinton pulled back from the face-off. Sensing her hesitation, he grabbed his opportunity, completely turning the tables on both the moderators and his opponent as he worked himself into a state of outrage portraying himself and the American people as victims of the Clintons.

He even scored a point around his own sexual scandal, as he invited Clinton to address the next question first with “I’m a gentleman Hillary you go ahead!”


Most interesting to note during these unpleasant exchanges was the behaviour of both candidates, in the face of little intervention from the moderators. Clinton, it seemed, simply could not deal with full-on confrontation. She was outside her comfort zone.  While accusing Trump of being ‘big on diversion tonight’, really, there appeared to be little fire in her belly to take advantage of such a ripe opportunity to bring her opponent down.


Trump on the other hand went at it like a Rottweiler, going hell for leather to turn the spotlight away from himself and back on to the Clintons, lobbing one historic argument on top of another, while throwing out snide comments at the moderator, Martha Raddatz (on the assertion he was not being given fair air-time) and telling Clinton if he was in charge of the law in America, he would have her in jail.

It was not nice. It was not presidential. It was not inspiring and it did little to grow the cause of either candidate. In short, what was expected to be an explosive debate turned into a damp squib.  There was no anticipated meltdown of the Republican party and the overall impression at the end was that Clinton appeared more like a background figure – while Trump got away with it – again.

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