#RealityCheck: "Who is Senator Cahill?" says Gerry Adams

The last Leaders Debate covered the main issues facing voters this Friday

The last Leaders' Debate ahead of General Election polling day took place on RTE Prime Time tonight hosted by Miriam O'Callaghan.

Probably the most extraordinary moment across all three debates was Gerry Adams genuinely asking the question, who is Senator Cahill? 

Tonight, Enda Kenny produced what may well be the best live performance he's ever done on TV. At worst, he has probably consolidated Fine Gael's lead in the polls.

Joan Burton also produced her best performance when it was most needed although whether or not it was sufficient or not to change the fortunes of her party is another question. 

Micheal Martin made the crucial error that having had the momentum from the first two debates, he made the unwise decision to defend his position rather than keep on the offensive and looked hesitant on several occasions.

Gerry Adams performance tonight was a good indication why Sinn Fein have plummeted in the polls over the last couple of weeks. It does raise the question; has the controversy around Gerry Adams finally caught up with Sinn Fein?

Earlier this evening on @ElectionNT, we ran a poll which stated that 72% of people had already made up their minds, 17% hadn't and 11% could be swayed.

Have those 28% heard enough tonight to finalise who they are going to vote for? If they have, the likelihood is that the current coalition partners will have gained ground but it is unlikely that it would be enough to keep them together in the next government.

The debate raises the real question, is there anything we learned from three debates that we could have just learned from one, possibly two? 

Health and Mental Health

On Mental Health, clearly the Leaders were reading Newstalk's Reality Check and addressed mental health and suicide. Other than this, they regurgitated the same arguments from the previous two debates; trolleys, medical cards, how to reform the health system and free GP care.

And the rest...

The other topics that were discussed included taxation, housing and homelessness, appointment to boards and climate change. On the issue of appointment to boards, this was Micheal Martin's weakest point across the debate and one of Kenny's strongest retorts when he challenged him on State board appointments.

Tonight was the last throw of the dice before the Election and it was all about performance rather than substance. For the vast majority of the people who stuck with it through all three debates, there cannot be many who would like to see a fourth.

The good people of Ireland will decide the real winner by 10pm on Friday.