Sir - It was disappointing to see that during the general election campaign not one of the main parties put forward a comprehensive regeneration plan for the development of rural Ireland.
A much more aggressive regional development plan must be put in place if our countryside is to survive and prosper. This is particularly so in the border counties, and in the west and north of the country, where so many local services have been withdrawn in recent years, such as post-offices, banking, education and health services etc.
On Claire Byrne Live during the recent leaders' debate, rural Ireland didn't get a mention for the first 45 minutes - and then only by a member of the audience who asked if any of them were returned to Leinster House, would they reverse the cuts to rural garda stations?
The leaders spoke in turn for 15 minutes without answering the query, when a simple "no" would have sufficed.
As Dublin and the east coast thrive and grow, resulting in gridlock and homelessness, the western seaboard continues to stagnate into silence and long commutes, in a two-speed economy. A much more balanced regional development plan is a must in the coming years and needs to be urgently moved up the EU classification list.
And now to add insult to injury, most of the parties want to take the cow out of rural Ireland, too, through the reduction of the national suckler herd. And for no other reason than that the poor unfortunate animal frequently carries out that most necessary of bovine bodily functions... farting.
This is all a load of hot air, and speaks to a green agenda, in an effort to increase their vote at election time.
Cloonacool, Co Sligo