GE2020: Party leader interviews

Primary school pupils from around the country have put their pressing questions to party leaders ahead of General Election 2020.

We invited you to film your questions for for Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin, Mary Lou McDonald, Brendan Howlin, and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Although you cannot vote yet, you still wanted to know what plans the aspiring taoisigh had for tackling climate change, homelessness, and hospital overcrowding.

The interviews also revealed what other parties the politicians admired, what they do in their free time, and what superhero costumes they could picture themselves in.

Here are some of the questions you asked:

Watch the full interview here

Dillon from Coan, Co Kilkenny asked the party leaders what party they would vote for if their own party did not exist.

The leader of Fine Gael Leo Varadkar said it was a “dangerous question to ask”, but said he would be open to voting for Labour following the 2011 coalition or the Green Party.

Labour’s Brendan Howlin also said the Green Party would probably get his vote if there was no candidate for his party.

People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett said it would be whatever left-wing candidate was best placed as an alternative to Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil.

Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald did not mention any party by name.

Watch the full interview here

Darragh McCormack from St Brigid’s NS in Drumcong, Co Leitrim wanted to know how the leaders differentiated themselves from other politicians.

“I like to meet people, I’m a very good listener, and I take my time with people,” said Ms McDonald.

“I think I’m impatient and always anxious to get the next thing done,” said Mr Martin.

Mr Martin and Mr Varadkar both said it was their honesty, while Mr Boyd Barrett pointed to the “people power” of activists within People Before Profit.

Watch the full interview here

Third Class at Crossmahon National School, Co Cork wanted to know what the politicians did in their free time.

The candidates said it was difficult to find free time, but Ms McDonald enjoys looking after her children and going to the cinema.

“The things I enjoy most are sport and staying in touch with my friends,” said Mr Howlin.

“I like fitness, I catch the movies as much as I can and I like to hang out with friends,” said Mr Varadkar.

Mr Martin and Mr Boyd Barrett enjoyed a shared interest in walking.

Watch the full interview here

If you were a superhero who would you be?

Mr Varadkar expressed admiration for Zorro’s “cool mask”, but said if the sword-wielding vigilante did not meet the criteria of a superhero he would pick the sometimes-good-sometimes-bad Magneto.

“I love X-Men and that’s my favourite,” he said.

Mr Howlin opted for Superman, while Mr Boyd Barrett and Mr Martin both went for Spiderman. Mr Boyd Barrett also said he liked Daredevil, saying the two heroes were ‘down-to-earth’.

Ms McDonald said she thinks Wonder Woman is amazing and would like to use the famous Lasso of Truth.

“You can put it around somebody and they have to tell you the truth. Imagine what I could do with that truth rope,” she said.

Watch the full interview here
 

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