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Give Sinn Féin ministerial power to learn democracy

Letters to the Editor


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald addressing a rally at Liberty Hall in February. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald addressing a rally at Liberty Hall in February. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald addressing a rally at Liberty Hall in February. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Letter writers Gerard Forrest and Christy Galligan (Irish Independent, April 28) make valid and moot points for our politicians.

Regarding a “national” government, in my opinion it is an absolute necessity for a small nation such as Ireland in this pandemic.

That the two major parties are now so close, ideologically speaking, they can comfortably discuss forming a government; and could well comfortably form a government, shows how evolution beats revolution.

Then there is the “matter of the Sinn Féin Party” which, for many a year, was hectored and lectured “stand for election”, “take your place in the Dáil”, etc, etc.

In 2020, the successors of the past are hectoring and lecturing Sinn Féin “you can’t be in government”, “we don’t trust you!”

Well, what better way to educate Sinn Féin and their “Up the Ra” supporters on how a democratic government operates than to give them ministerial responsibility and the accountability that goes with it.

When this pandemic eases off and there is return to a form of normalcy, there will be a need for international discussion on the world economy and a strong voice will be needed to represent Ireland.

For those who fear a national government, three things could be done:

Set a fixed term of three years;

Discard the whip and allow TDs to raise any or all concerns on any aspect of it in the Dáil;

The constitutional safeguard of the Council of State could be used for that period, rather than solely the President, to examine and ratify all legislation from such a government.

WB Yeats’s ‘Unity of Being’ could be a reality in Ireland yet!

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia


Teachers have answers to resolve exam conundrum

I cannot understand why the teachers cannot sort this out themselves.

Pass and grade everyone based on past performance. For fairness make the exam obligatory for anyone given a high grade eg greater than 450 points (arbitrary) and optional for anyone not satisfied with their assessment, with the caveat the exam will now be the final mark.

This should result in manageable numbers, facilitating the exam even with social distancing. It could be held later in the year and still have the points in time for further education. Don’t wait for the minister!

Dr Michael Foley

Rathmines, Dublin 6


Rules make virus lockdown more like an imprisonment

Ireland is more incarcerated than in a lockdown. It is an incarceration because if you break the rules, no matter how arbitrary they are, there are criminal sanctions.

The reason the population is less compliant is that the end is not in sight – it’s a bit like being on a HSE waiting list. The Government and its experts may not even have a plan or know what the parameters are which would allow a gradual lifting of the restrictions on everyday life.

Citizens might also be angry/upset since almost 60pc of deaths are in nursing homes. Something that could have been prevented.

As far as I can see the figures are not very robust. Total infections are just the ones detected through testing but don’t say anything about the total number tested or how many were negative, or how many infected persons showed no symptoms.

Are we doing any random post-mortems to see how many pass away from the virus?

As Barbara McCarthy says in her comment (Irish Independent, April 24), treat us like adults and we will act like adults. Also treat the elderly like important members of society, like Dr Thomas Finegan suggests.

Ludwig Fingerhut

Clonakilty, Co Cork


Vulnerable? Not when I am only 67 years young

I would like to say thanks to Marianne Heron for her comment (Irish Independent, April 27) about the “vulnerable” elderly people. I am “only” 67 and I hate being categorised as “elderly”.

H Gorman

Address with editor


I fear my fitness will recede as my hair grows longer

While understanding the importance of lockdown I, like countless others, am finding incarceration hard.

I was swimming up to four miles a week. The following week I’m told I’m an old man and can’t leave the house. Such measures mean I fear I will loose my water fitness, my ability to be independent and my sanity.

Hot on the heels of this I do miss my regular haircuts. Living on my own I don’t have anyone to cut it. The thought of surfacing as a caveman when this is over is unfortunate, unless I can procure some form of apparatus to trim my hair without botching things.

Having said all that, what a wonderful job the frontline people are doing.

James Conway

Terenure, Dublin 6

Irish Independent