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FG's anti-Cox wing must put country first

Those Fine Gael members who are foaming at the mouth at the prospect of an "opportunist" like Pat Cox seeking the Fine Gael presidential nomination need to grow up.

Their petulant attacks on Mr Cox are puerile and mean-spirited, and they evince an authoritarian streak that prioritises loyalty to the party over loyalty to the country.

Mr Cox joined Fine Gael for one simple reason. He believes that he would make the best President, and not just the best Fine Gael President. But unfortunately, his ambition to become Ireland's first citizen would be substantially hampered if he were to run as an Independent, especially since Irish presidential elections are primarily orchestrated by the machinery of partisan politics.

The anti-Cox wing in Fine Gael would do well to bear in mind that Mr Cox is much more popular with the electorate than both Gay Mitchell and Mairead McGuinness. They would also do well to remember that the presidency is an independent office that remains above politics, and that there is no such thing as a Fine Gael President.

Those who bitterly oppose his bid to seek the party's nomination should accordingly focus a little more on selecting the best candidate, and not just the best advertising pitchman for the Fine Gael partisan label.

Kevin James O'Mahony
San Jose, California, usA

Irish Independent