Fine Gael has tonight given more details on its proposals for a five way debate involving the Green Party and Sinn Féin, as well as the larger parties.

Fine Gael has written to broadcasters proposing a debate in a neutral venue with a neutral agreed moderator.

It would be up to individual broadcasters to decide how they cover the event, which would be open to all of them.

A Fianna Fáil spokesman said tonight that paryt leader Micheál Martin remained of the view that the main debate must be between the three larger parties.

However, he said would participate in a wider debate if Mr Kenny insisted on including Sinn Féin and the Greens.

Mr Martin has already accepted an invitation to a three-way TG4 debate next month and has written to Enda Kenny saying he intended to take part even if the Fine Gael leader did not.

Mr Kenny said he would be 'quite happy' to engage in a five-way leaders' debate on any television station in either English or Irish.

He ruled out a three-way election debate with the leaders of the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil.

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Kenny said he would not exclude political leaders from any televised election debate.

Mr Kenny was responding to an invitation from Mr Martin, who called for a three-way debate between the Labour Party, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

The Fine Gael leader said his newly-elected counterpart in Fianna Fáil was not in a position to dictate the format for any election debates, as the landscape had changed politically.

Mr Martin said he is 'amazed' that Mr Kenny is 'avoiding' a three-way debate.

He claimed a debate between the five party leaders would 'dilute' the time available.

Gormley and Adams favour five-way debate

Green Party leader John Gormley said the television debates should not be confined to three parties leaders because it would hamper 'political accountability'.

Mr Gormley said: 'The reality is that under our system people from all five parties could head up important government departments after the next election.

'For this reason it is important that the voters get to hear from all of them on an equal footing.'

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has called for an 'inclusive debate' with leaders of all the main parties.

Mr Adams said: 'What citizens need to see is an inclusive debate with all leaders of parties represented in Leinster House dealing with all the issues of concern to citizens.

'Sinn Féin has been in touch with the main broadcast organizations in the state on this issue and we have insisted on being included in the main leaders’ debate.

'The politics of exclusion will not facilitate the open and informed debate that is in the interest of all citizens.'

FF has 'problem' with number of candidates - Martin

Meanwhile, Mr Martin has admitted that Fianna Fáil has 'a problem' in the number of candidates it has in various constituencies for the General Election.

Mr Martin said that he would be reviewing the situation, but that it would be difficult in constituencies that have already selected their candidates.

He hopes to be in a position to announce the appointment of a director of elections in the near future.

Mr Martin is also due to decide on who he chooses as his deputy leader and how to shape his election team over the next few days.

Last night, Mr Martin once more acknowledged the failures of the Governments in which he served.

Mr Martin was quick to apologise for the mistakes of the past few years.

He said Fianna Fáil should have been more sceptical about the consensus for low taxes and increased Government spending.

There is speculation that Dara Calleary, or Dublin TDs such as Barry Andrews and defeated challenger Mary Hanafin, might be chosen as deputy leader.