RTE excludes 40 MEP Candidates from Live Debates

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RTE excludes 40 MEP Candidates from Live Debates
RTE has come under much criticism for its decision to exclude 40 MEP Candidates from its live television debates. 
 
The National Broadcaster has invited just 19 MEP candidates out of a total 59 candidates nationwide to take part in its live tv debates which start on Sunday Night beginning with the Ireland South Constituency , followed by Dublin constituency on Monday Night and Midlands Northwest constituency on Tuesday.

Following two High Court Challenges by Independent Candidates Eamonn Murphy and Ben Gilroy who are both excluded  , RTÉ's head of current affairs David Nally revealed in a sworn testimony to the High Court that RTE only invites candidates who have already been elected to the European parliament or Dáil, or who have polled more than 5 per cent of votes in a recent national election . The 40 excluded Candidates will be given a 60 second video clip outlining why they should be elected.

On Tuesday , A High Court judge dismissed Ben Gilroy's legal challenge . Mr Justice Senan Allen said the proceedings by Mr Gilroy had “no legal basis”. On Wednesday , Independent MEP Candidate Eamonn Murphy withdrew his high court proceedings .

 
List of MEP Candidates Ireland

In Dublin
Barry Andrews (Fianna Fáil)
Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin)*
Gillen Brien (Solidarity-People Before Profit)
Ciarán Cuffe (Green Party)
Clare Daly (Independents for Change)
Mark Durkan (Fine Gael)
Frances Fitzgerald (Fine Gael)
Gary Gannon (Social Democrats)
Ben Gilroy (Independent)
Rita Harrold (Solidarity-People Before Profit)
Alice Mary Higgins (Independent)
Hermann Kelly (Independent)
Tony Bosco Lowth (Independent)
Aisling McNiffe (Independent)
Mark Mullan (Independent)
Eamonn Murphy (Independent)
Gemma O’Doherty (Independent)
Eilis Ryan (The Workers Party)
Alex White (Labour)

Midlands North West
Cyril Brennan (Solidarity-People Before Profit)
Matt Carthy (Sinn Féin)*
Peter Casey (Independent)
Luke “Ming” Flanagan (Independent)*
Patrick Greene (Direct Democracy Ireland)
Dominic Hannigan (Labour)
Fidelma Healy Eames (Independent)
Dilip Mahapatra (Independent)
Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael)*
Saoirse McHugh (Green Party)
James Miller (Independent)
Diarmaid Mulcahy (Independent)
Olive O’Connor (Independent)
Michael O’Dowd (Renua)
Anne Rabbitte (Fianna Fáil)
Brendan Smith (Fianna Fáil)
Maria Walsh (Fine Gael)

Ireland South  
Allan Brennan (Independent)
Malcolm Byrne (Fianna Fáil)
Dolores Cahill (Independent)
Deirdre Clune (Fine Gael)*
Andrew Doyle (Fine Gael)
Paddy Fitzgerald (Independent)
Breda Patricia Gardner (Independent)
Theresa Heaney (Independent)
Billy Kelleher (Fianna Fáil)
Sean Kelly (Fine Gael)*
Peter Madden (Independent)
Liam Minehan (Independent)
Liadh ni Ríada (Sinn Féin)*
Sheila Nunan (Labour)
Diarmuid O’Flynn (Independent)
Peter O’Loughlin (Identity Ireland)
Grace O’Sullivan (Green Party)
Walter Ryan-Purcell (Independent)
Joseph Sexton (Independent)
Jan Van De Ven (Direct Democracy Ireland)
Adrienne Wallace (Solidarity-People Before Profit)
Mick Wallace (Independents for Change)
Colleen Worthington (Independent)

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This decision by RTE to exclude the bulk of MEP candidates from its debates is an affront to democracy , it is supposed to represent the public yet it is not giving the public equal opportunity of choice .

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