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Leo and Micheál can be a formidable pair at the helm

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'I believe that, working together, Leo and Micheál could give us a government that is up to the needs of the nation at this most critical of times.' Photo: Maxwells

'I believe that, working together, Leo and Micheál could give us a government that is up to the needs of the nation at this most critical of times.' Photo: Maxwells

'I believe that, working together, Leo and Micheál could give us a government that is up to the needs of the nation at this most critical of times.' Photo: Maxwells

Leo and Micheál can be a formidable pair at the helm

There is much emphasis on the composition of the next government.

I regret that the Greens are holding back but in these unprecedented tough times what we now need more than ever is politicians with “fire in their bellies” (Seán Lemass).

We should not be so quick to dismiss the prospect of a minority government. It is widely argued the best government this country has ever seen was the minority government of Lemass (1961-1965).

The country was in deep stagnation when he took over the reins of power, robbed of the energy and spirit of its youth through mass emigration.

He had to move fast to shift the country from the economy of stagnation to the economy of growth.

Knowing heads on shoulders were more important than bums on seats, he appointed his best and brightest to key posts in the cabinet. He outmanoeuvred the opposition every time they threatened to pull the plug and then, in 1965, went to the country, gained two seats and came back with his majority.

I believe Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin will be a formidable pair. Leo has won the confidence of the people by the measured manner in which he is handling the Covid-19 challenge, demonstrating sound judgment and sure-footed leadership.

Micheál is a principled and practised politician. He was the best minister for education since the heady days of Paddy Hillery and Donagh O’Malley. He played a significant role in the drafting of the Good Friday Agreement and European treaties during his time in Foreign Affairs. He was a very good minister for health and displayed great courage and conviction when he faced down vested interest and brought in the smoking ban, saving lives.

I believe he showed sure-footed statesmanship in the manner in which he practised Confidence and Supply.

I believe that, working together, Leo and Micheál could give us a government that is up to the needs of the nation at this most critical of times. They deserve our wholehearted support, nothing less.

Maírín Quill

Wellington Road, Cork

 

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Did Trump never hear this?

Chris Fitzpatrick

Terenure Road East, Dublin

 

Our democracy could be latest victim of pandemic

The fallout from Covid-19 has been bad enough but maybe it is time to consider its toll on our democracy as well.

Two supposedly right-wing parties, both of which got mauled in the recent general election, are now proposing a socialist manifesto that no one voted for, in order to attract some left-leaning party representing no more than 5pc of the electorate.

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our country but surely we should also be asking a simple question: is Irish democracy set to become the latest casualty of the pandemic?

Brian Deane

Wilton, Co Cork

 

Police state claim was not worthy of being published

I can’t for the life of me think why this newspaper would give any credence or space to an article (Irish Independent, April 13) reporting the idea that we have sleepwalked into a police state in this country in our present dreadful circumstances.

These restrictions are there to save lives. End of story.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

 

Respect for decision-makers, not those on the sidelines

We need to have due respect and support for those in authority, burdened with responsibility for guiding the nation through an extraordinary crisis.

They must make decisions daily, sometimes with less than perfect information and in the absence of experience in dealing with this particular virus. Likewise, their frontline workers.

Inevitably and understandably mistakes will be made under pressure and some situations will arise where we might have done better.

So far, the Irish people are responding admirably in this regard.

Surprisingly, even the usual “hurlers on the ditch” – with some exceptions – are mostly and thankfully silent.

Experience, of course, will lead us to expect that those who take no responsibility for anything but pronounce on everything will emerge eventually.

It is to be hoped that the efforts of those taking responsibility, together with the great response of our citizens, will make us less tolerant or indulgent of the “hurlers on the ditch”.

Pat O’Mahony

Dalkey, Co Dublin

Irish Independent