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Greens stuck between a rock and a hard place on coalition

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Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photo: PA

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photo: PA

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photo: PA

If evidence was ever needed that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are from the same political gene pool, it is the bait they are throwing to hook the Greens into a coalition from which they will find it impossible to extract themselves.

If the dire economic predictions come to pass, it is almost certain after 100 days in government the big boys will turn around and laugh off any promises they made to the Greens on the grounds of inability to fulfil, because of the inevitable economic recession.

Surely the Greens must realise if they go into government they will be caught between a rock and a hard place of either being blamed for pulling the plug and pre-empting an election in a time of crisis, or sucking it up and losing all credibility in the eyes of their grassroots support.

Anthony McGeough

Tallaght, Dublin

 

All-inclusive government can send a message to the world

Sentiments echoed by Declan Foley (Letters, Irish Independent, April 29) reference a more international discussion pending for our leaders post-pandemic. This is entirely correct as there will be a need for a global ‘musketeer’ mentality in the years to come to combat and remediate the economic crisis we will all find ourselves in.

It is impossible to again imagine viewing the daily petty adversarial ping pong slanging of our own national government in our Dáil chambers while the existential threat to potentially millions of jobs hangs over the working men and women of Ireland.

As Mr Foley suggests, surely this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give all mandated parties a joint ministerial responsibility and, by extension, accountability in our country’s future. This will send a message to the world stage that Ireland has the courage to show leadership and effect change to face the new economic and cultural landscapes. The new face of Ireland of an all-inclusive government will surely energise and hearten the people they represent and garner respect and a voice on a brave new international stage.

Gerard Forrest

Milltownpass, Co Westmeath

 

Hiqa in frequent contact with nursing homes to offer help

Colette Browne (‘Blame for extending lockdown lies more with State’s response than a selfish public’, Irish Independent, April 29) suggests that Hiqa “waited until April 21 to write to nursing homes to assess their ability to deal with an outbreak”. This is erroneous.

By this date, Hiqa had communicated on seven occasions with the providers of nursing homes, providing information and updates on the regulatory process during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hiqa inspectors have also been in frequent contact with providers to offer advice and support them to get the targeted assistance that they need, and to ensure that services continue to deliver safe and effective care to their residents.

Hiqa continues to monitor services closely and respond to areas of risk to ensure that vulnerable residents are protected and receive the high standard of care they deserve. In addition, Hiqa’s Infection Prevention and Control Hub offers the staff and providers of residential care settings quick access to support and expert advice on infection prevention and control measures when caring for a resident with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. An escalation pathway ensures that any concerns raised by providers are brought to the HSE for immediate action so that services can get the practical help they need.

As the regulator established to drive improvements in Ireland’s health and social care sectors, Hiqa is working closely with the Government, the Department of Health, the HSE and other statutory agencies to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to protect vulnerable residents. In these unprecedented times, Hiqa’s priority is and remains the safety and wellbeing of people who may be vulnerable.

Mary Dunnion

Chief Inspector of Social Services, Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa)

 

Third-level obsession ignores those leaving to take up trade

Again, we have been dazzled by the lights of third level and our obsession with fitting square pegs into round holes, ignoring the alarmingly high 15pc non-progression rate.

Although third level offers many benefits to those suitable candidates who choose wisely and progress successfully, what about those students who had planned to go straight into a trade apprenticeship and require a formal Junior Cert qualification? What happens now that the Junior Cert has been cancelled?

Has there been any thought for these students leaving the education system after 11 years with little or nothing? Many are not suited to third level yet, and we keep hearing that employers increasingly want and need workers with on-the-job experience.

Madeleine Hearn

Carraig na bhFear, Corcaigh

Irish Independent