Martin McGuiness, Sinn Fein’s hopeful in the presidential election, described the way he was treated as a “trial by television”.
Derry-born McGuinness, a former senior figure in the Provisional IRA, was questioned on his past by the TV presenter.
O’Callaghan asked McGuinness how he felt about being involved in the murder of so many people during the Northern Ireland troubles. McGuinness said that this was a disgraceful comment to make and tried to justify his past.
At one point the presenter argued that it would be humiliating for the Irish people to have a leader who had been involved in IRA killings.
O’Callaghan continued to challenge McGuinness by going round all the other candidates asking if they “had a problem” with Martin McGuinness being the head of State. She however neglected to ask McGuinness if he felt if the other candidates were suitable for president.
During this afternoon’s visit to the Cavan Institute, McGuinness confirmed that he had requested a one-to-one meeting with O’Callaghan after the show, where he expressed his disappointment in the way the debate was handled.