Michael D. Higgins' campaign issues snappy response to Sean Gallagher's letter 10 months ago

Michael D. Higgins' campaign issues snappy response to Sean Gallagher's letter

Both men look set to miss tonight's debate.

Businessman Sean Gallagher said that he would avoid tonight's televised presidential debate on Claire Byrne Live unless incumbent president Michael D. Higgins was also participating.

In an open letter to the President, Gallagher called Higgins' refusal to participate an "insult to the Irish people".

Claire Power, the Campaign Director for the Campaign to Re-Elect Michael D. Higgins has issued a snappy response.

Published on Monday afternoon, the letter reads: "President Michael D. Higgins' election headquarters is located at 14-16 Lord Edward Street, Dublin 2. May I request that any further correspondence in relation to any aspect of the election campaign is directed to the Michael D Higgins Campaign Office, not Áras an Uachtaráin, for obvious reasons.

"Let me confirm that President Michael D Higgins will fulfil the debate engagements that he announced publicly on October 2nd.

"Can I say I was surprised to receive your missive last night before the airing of one particular debate. As noted above, President Higgins publicly indicated his commitment to debates 12 days ago."

On October 2, Higgins confirmed that he would take part in RTÉ’s Prime Time debate on Tuesday 23 October and Pat Kenny’s Big Debate: Presidential Special on Virgin Media on Wednesday 17 October.

Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada has accused Gallagher of "hiding behind Higgins" when it comes to avoiding the debate.

The first televised presidential debate will kick off at 9.35pm tonight on RTÉ One.