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FF and FG can put country first with a Green Taoiseach

Letters to the Editor


Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photo: Maxwellphotography.ie

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photo: Maxwellphotography.ie

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photo: Maxwellphotography.ie

The electorate has spoken, and it is up to our politicians to respond as best they can to the people’s wishes by forming a new government that will give the country reasonable stability and direction over the next few years.

There is general agreement that, in order to achieve this aim, two of the three larger parties will need to be involved. Since Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have both ruled out Sinn Féin and – without getting into any argument about the rights or wrongs of this exclusion – this leaves the only option as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, together with one or more of the smaller parties.

There is consensus the electorate voted for change.

This was most clearly expressed in the dramatic rise in the Sinn Féin vote and significant increase in the Green Party vote.

Any rejigging of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, as in putting Fianna Fáil up front and Fine Gael in behindthem it, will look suspiciously like the government just gone, in which Fine Gael fronted and Fianna Fáil rode pillion.

If the only result of the shadow boxing and posturing over the coming weeks is Micheál Martin swapping seats with Leo Varadkar – or, worse still, the two taking turns in the Taoiseach’s chair – a large percentage of the public will likely feel cheated.

One way of avoiding the perception of ‘same old, same old’ would be for the two larger parties to nominate the leader of the Greens – their preferred junior partners in any would-be coalition – for the office of Taoiseach. This way, they would be seen to be putting the country before party interest and recognising the clear mood for change expressed in the election.

John Glennon

Hollywood, Co Wicklow

Give alternative government the chance to tackle issues

Fianna Fáil lost eight seats, down from 46 to 38. Fine Gael lost 15 seats, down from 50 to 35.

Yet Micheál Martin, the remaining Fianna Fáil cabinet member of the governments of Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen, whose bust-and-boom economic strategy wrecked the economy – and gave us the hated Universal Social Charge – is desperately trying to become our next Taoiseach.

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Leo Varadkar was never elected Taoiseach but shafted his leader, Enda Kenny, and put his pals Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy in charge of health and housing, where they presided over record numbers of sick people waiting on trolleys for a hospital bed and record numbers of homeless on the streets or in emergency accommodation.

Mr Varadkar’s government also turned down a massive €13bn tax bill from Apple, which could have solved these problems.

Surely it cannot be long before Simon Coveney or Paschal Donohoe do to him what he did to Mr Kenny?

The bottom line is, in my opinion, Sinn Féin won the election.

The electorate, particularly the low and middle-income earners – who must pay USC, property tax and income tax of 40pc once they earn more than €35,000 and get little or nothing in return, while the multinationals and the banks hardly pay any tax – has had enough of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and wants to see real change now.

In desperation, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are using smokescreens by bringing up the IRA, even though the Independent Monitoring Commission and former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan stated the IRA had decommissioned all weapons and, as a military organisation, had gone for good.

Does anyone think the DUP would go into government with Sinn Féin in Stormont if it had any notion the IRA still existed? No chance.

So, let us move on and give Sinn Féin, the Green Party, the Social Democrats, People Before Profit and like-minded Independents the opportunity to form an alternative government in the national interest which will tackle the crises in health, housing and other areas created by the outgoing Fine Gael government with the support of Fianna Fáil over the past four years.

Matt Wade

Address with editor

Enough messing about – get in a room and sort out a deal

Here we are in 2020, with a Dáil in which a majority of TDs have been through university, yet 17 days after the election they have not the ability to form a government.

The 13th Dáil was elected in similar circumstances, yet the new government was up and running by February 18, 1948, two weeks after the polling date of February 4.

My opinion is that the best way forward is for the TDs of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green Party to meet, with absolutely no backroom boys or girls in the room, and thrash out a deal for government.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are in danger of becoming absolutely irrelevant to the nation – so forget another election and get to work with what you have.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

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