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Public should refuse to vote if another election is declared

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'TDs were elected to form a government to govern for the greater good of the people, and if the present talks fail, the next best option is a government of national unity, with a programme to meet the needs of the people.' (stock photo)

'TDs were elected to form a government to govern for the greater good of the people, and if the present talks fail, the next best option is a government of national unity, with a programme to meet the needs of the people.' (stock photo)

Erwin Wodicka - wodicka@aon.at

'TDs were elected to form a government to govern for the greater good of the people, and if the present talks fail, the next best option is a government of national unity, with a programme to meet the needs of the people.' (stock photo)

Is it any wonder that the Labour Party (‘Kelly walks away from talks over “unrealistic” tax pledges’, Irish Independent, May 16) and the Social Democrats will not talk with the parties attempting to form a government?

Neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael can agree, either between themselves or among themselves, with individual TDs continuing to disparage the aspirations of the Greens, who they hope will join them in government.

It is interesting to note that post-election, the Fine Gael preference was to go into opposition. If the efforts fail, there are rumours of planning for a Covid-19 overarching general election, which is not included in the roadmap. The past 14 weeks uncovers the “relevance” of the number of politicians and advisers we have.

The electorate should refuse to vote in such a general election. TDs were elected to form a government to govern for the greater good of the people, and if the present talks fail, the next best option is a government of national unity, with a programme to meet the needs of the people. It is negligent in the extreme that our elected TDs have not been able to form a government since they were elected.

Hugh McDermott

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

We cannot be complacent on long-term Covid-19 immunity

Having served as the director of the American National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, Dr Anthony Fauci is one of the most foremost and credible authorities with regard to global pandemics.

The advice which he gives the Trump administration on varying areas of its response to Covid-19 is often echoed to governments around the world. In an interview with the American broadcaster Fox News, Dr Fauci stated that it was a “reasonable assessment” that a recovery from Covid-19 would provide a person with immunity, but stressed that this was not a certainty. That key message must now be reiterated by our Government.

Because Covid-19 was first identified only six months ago in December 2019, there can be no certainty of immunity to the virus, or the strength or longevity of any immunity a recovery would provide. Effectively, the fault line in our response to managing Covid-19 in Ireland is complacency, and complacency will most definitely be harboured by any falsely promoted certainty about any aspect of this virus.

Cillian Boggan

St Peter’s College, Co Wexford

21st Century golf courses not only for dads and grandads

In Ellen Coyne’s feature (Irish Independent, May 16), the head of golf at Mount Juliet estate is quoted as saying “It’s a sport that your dad and your grandad can do”.

I had to consult my calendar to check what century it was.

Rita O’Brien

Lucan, Co Dublin

 

There has to be a better way than one-shot Leaving Cert

Before Covid-19, many correspondents railed about how a single exam, the Leaving Certificate, placed too much stress on students, especially when students are constantly told that the result of that exam could affect the rest of their lives, and asked if there was a fairer way to do things.

Covid-19, causing the cancellation of the Leaving Cert and subsequent stress over the fairness or otherwise of estimated marking systems, has now proven beyond doubt that change is needed.

At present, students are only faced with a single exam of real importance in five years – with regards to moving into third level, at least.  Maybe it is time to move beyond that single exam and expand the criteria for the student’s qualifying points to the entire five to six-year secondary school period.

Most schools have in-house school exams at various times each year – Christmas, Easter and summer. Could these be used as a method of providing students with results towards points accumulation for third level, along with the Junior and Leaving Cert exams?

A poor result in a single exam of many then becomes less relevant than a poor result in the only exam available. There is time to recover. Or final results could be taken from the best of “x” exams, to remove an aberration (or two).

A Leaving Cert-type exam could still be taken at the end of the second-level cycle, if the professionals thought that was a good idea, but at least now, if a similar disruptor to Covid-19 comes along, there would be an extended body of results to work from to provide actual, as opposed to guesstimated, results for determining points for third level.

A new full-time professional body could be used to achieve total impartiality in correcting exams. Expensive, no doubt, but that would be a small price to pay for finally solving the hype, hysteria and stress caused by the one-off exam which is the Leaving Cert.

David Doran

Bagenalstown, Co Carlow

Irish Independent