Saturday 24 February 2018

Publish letters -- or be damned

One of the more common, if understandable, errors which have crept into the public perception of the Presidency is the belief that the office is about style rather than substance.

In fact, the history of the office, from de Valera's advice to Peter Berry to reveal the truth about the importation of guns to Jack Lynch through to Patrick Hillery's defiance of Charles Haughey and Mary McAleese's acts of reconciliation with the British crown, indicate that both qualities are incorporated in the office.

Last week our Sunday Independent opinion poll leader Michael D Higgins acted in the style of a President courtesy of his generous, but also politically clever, decision to ensure David Norris secured the nomination. Fine Gael, though, provided us with the substance via its warning about the real consequences of a McGuinness victory.

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