This was the worst piece of cheap television I have watched in years. I’m actually raging that I gave up a whole hour of my life, an hour that I will never get back!

A pair of mumbling, bumbling middle-aged, angry mixed-up men who left me more disillusioned with modern-day Irish politics than I have ever been in my life. I felt like I was back in 1996. Or 1981. Or 1977. Or 2002.

And can you believe it? Leo Varadkar actually posted a photo of a selection of the snacks and sweets available in the green room on his Instagram account before this debate! This pair needs a wake-up call of major proportions. And I believe it’s coming.

Neither of these out-of-touch party ‘leaders’ even touched on the real issues that face every single one of us right now.

I am very worried by this current political farce that we are faced with. I am seriously scared by what lies ahead for our own futures, and for the next generation. Politics hasn’t changed here whatsoever in almost 100 years. It’s FF and FG. And no one else. Parish pump politics. And take a ride everyone else!

The ‘organisers told the organisers’ that the debate wouldn’t happen if Mary Lou was included. How unbalanced can you make it? It’s like having two Morecambes but no Wise! What scares them about Sinn Féin? By her very absence, Mary Lou shone more brightly that this pair could ever have hoped to. Mary Lou would have chewed them up and spat them out.

They muffled and duddered, and fidgeted and eh, eh, eh. They tutted and tittered. In fact I couldn’t tell them apart. They call themselves world class leaders. They should have been individually epic in their own divided uniqueness. Instead they were like third-rate quiz show contestants – constantly hesitating, and almost apologetic. I was mortified.

Micheál Martin even had the neck to stumble through Keane Mulready Woods’ name almost as if he was whispering it as an afterthought. He should have been shouting out the young boy’s name in anger, showing his revulsion at such a despicable murder, and issuing a public warning to voters that such a disgusting crime will never be allowed to happen again in our country.

That’s what leaders are made of: fearlessness, guts and balls.

Instead he pandered to Varadkar and fawned to Pat Kenny. It was a disgusting, humiliating debate. I cringed every couple of seconds. I wanted to turn it off, but I couldn’t stop myself from watching it because it was so bad.

Pat Kenny was the wrong person to host the interview. To see him standing there between them at the end of this sham show was awful, instead of walking away and maintaining his unbiased status which of course would have been more professional; rather than the way he stayed on set with them like they were all engaged in some sort of budso-pals post-match discussion.

18 of our TDs, including Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan, and Gerry Adams, will share €22million between then when they retire ahead of this election in two weeks time from positions they were elected to. Millions and millions. Guess who pays for their luxury retirements?

Meanwhile two wannabe goodfellas stand opposite each other on live television tonight and expect the gullible fools to, yet again, elect more of the same so that they too can eventually retire with the same money, taken out of our pockets, in a few years time.

And finally, a story at bedtime: That Leinster House printer/photo-copier that cost €808,000, actually cost a lot more thanks to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

These documents show that a further €236,000 is required in order to tear down walls and embedding structural steel in order to give the printer the height clearance it needs to operate. However builder sources have said that the final bill would amount to substantially more.

Meanwhile, the printer continues to remain idle three months after the fiasco came to public attention due to an industrial relations stand-off between the Oireachtas and staff tasked with operating the machine, who argue that they need to be paid more wages for work that requires upskilling.

Meanwhile – True Story – one of Cork’s busiest garda stations requested a new photocopier this week, but the gardaí were told there was no money left in the budget. They were told to put their request in again in six months time (but there’ll still be no guarantee they’ll get it).

Meanwhile – True Story – gardaí stationed in a city centre station listened frantically to repeated urgent calls from emergency services following the stabbing and subsequent death of a young man recently. They were unable to respond immediately to the emergency calls from their colleagues at the scene because the station doesn’t have enough garda patrol cars. Many of the cars they currently rely on are off the road due to damage. The gardaí resorted to using their own private cars in order to assist in the emergency.

I hope that both of you party leaders read this. Most of what you debated and argued over tonight was a waste of valuable voters’ time. You wasted my time tonight. In fact, given further consideration, your parties have wasted many years during which much good and so much positive change could have been brought about. But it wasn’t.

Little has changed for so many. And yet again here you are, in 2020, and you want us all to believe and to vote for the same old shite.

Safe home in your nice comfortable cars, and watch out for those potholes. Some of them are so deep you could disappear

Gareth O’Callaghan