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Three main parties came from common vision – and should strive together for a united goal

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Common roots: Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Mary Lou McDonald’s parties share the same past – and could share the future too. Photo: Frank McGrath

Common roots: Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Mary Lou McDonald’s parties share the same past – and could share the future too. Photo: Frank McGrath

Common roots: Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Mary Lou McDonald’s parties share the same past – and could share the future too. Photo: Frank McGrath

Having gladly become an Irish citizen 10 years ago, I did research into understanding politics as I was not raised here. These are the facts as I understand happened.

Sinn Féin was the original political party campaigning for the right and gaining power to rule, to be "a nation once again".

The fight of 800 years was not religious nor against "planted" people but against the unauthorised taking of the country by an outside force. These days the decommissioned IRA are called terrorists; back then anarchists.

Pro-treaty members of Sinn Féin, followers of Michael Collins, left Sinn Féin and founded in 1923 Cumann na nGaedheal, which later became Fine Gael.

Sinn Féin continued to be led by Éamon de Valera into the Civil War.

He only left the party to found Fianna Fáil in 1926 and later became the President of the Republic of Ireland.

So, the three major 2020 political groups were all born from one root and share a common past and common vision.

So stop with your venom and rhetoric and start building bridges in the Republic.

What's wrong with powersharing and rotating leadership? At least it would be democratic as no one has been given a mandate to "govern" in their own right.

Perhaps a minority government can even deliver all of Ireland into a true democracy with policy developed based on agreed common values, voted on by all the people on this island, ie. cross-Border communication where regardless of "boundaries" all Irish are equals united by Irish values and laws rather than political mandates and political madness.

Anne Gilpin

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Priorities of homes and health have been neglected

Money for Blue Ways. Money for Green Ways. Money to widen pathways, money to makeover the same roundabouts every few years. Money for new car parks. Millions for hotels for people without homes.

Lots of money to send our representatives all over the globe. Attending parties in North and South America, South Africa, the Middle East, East Timor, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand for St Patrick's Day. But this year the virus might put a stop to that practice.

For the last decade these are some of the areas where our taxes have been used.

Since when did these projects become more important than the basic human right to affordable homes to live and raise a family in?

Money was granted for such projects when hospital corridors are full of people on trolleys. Big money and expenses for our politicians who oversaw and were on the gravy train.

Let's keep a sharp eye on whichever group of incompetents sits in our parliament next and see where their priorities lie.

Tom Moloney

Clonmel, Co Tipperary

All these quarters add up to a whole lot of nonsense

I thought I knew Dublin, but on a recent visit I came across two places I'd never heard of: Grafton Quarter and Clerys Quarter.

This fixation with fractions got me thinking and brought out the competitive spirit in me.

Why not have, say, a Powerscourt Half? Or a Stillorgan Three-Quarters? Or even a Dundrum Fifteen-Sixteenth?

Maybe I have too much time on my hands...

David Cleere

Gorey, Co Wexford

No doubts - Sinn Féin is a 'dastardly outfit'

Killian Brennan's apologie for Sinn Féin ('Running SF down will raise its appeal among voters', Letters, February 27) was most interesting, but I don't think our demand for change means that the vehicle is Sinn Féin.

No one insinuates Sinn Féin is a "dastardly illegitimate outfit" - we shout from the rooftops that Sinn Féin is a "dastardly illegitimate outfit". It is the political arm of the IRA.

The IRA slaughtered more than 1,000 innocent men, women and children. It would take all day to catalogue its atrocities.

Sinn Féin (its political arm) does not condemn the IRA, even when it breaks every bone in a young man's body and says it slaughtered him because he was a criminal. Of course, recently, it walked that back when it was clearly proven that it lied.

We want change.

We want a government which reflects our desire for fair play for the vulnerable, the homeless, the poor and the disenfranchised.

We want a government which listens to the people, which does not replay some stupid tribal grudge match over and over again.

Right now, that means a government composed of several parties, politicians of good will, who will govern this little island with care.

It does not include a political party which reveres or condones the slaughter of innocents or the callous murder of a mother of 10 young children.

Government is not rocket science. It is common sense. We need to form a government now or have another election.

Patricia Moynihan

Castaheany, Co Dublin

Greens must spell out what 'change' means

Leader of the Greens Eamon Ryan, in an interview on RTÉ's 'News at One', stated his party was having difficulty with the proposals within the Sinn Féin manifesto to cut USC, property tax and curb the imposition of a carbon tax which Sinn Féin tells us is necessary to create a fairer overall taxation regime.

It seems from these comments the Greens have no difficulty with these taxes as levied at present.

This suggests they have no problem with taxes levied without "ability-to-pay" protection which is at the core of the people's concern with the taxes mentioned.

It would be outrageous if the Greens go into a government that refuses to deal with the issues around basic fairness and justice with regard to levying taxes.

That said, it is crucial now the Greens come forward and tell us exactly what they think would represent the "change" people clearly voted for.

The interview sounded ominously like a politician in pursuit of high office and little else.

Jim O'Sullivan

Rathedmond, Sligo

Things do change - but they remain the same

Hilaire Belloc wrote of the great election of 1923:

The accursed power which stands on Privilege?/

(And goes with Women, and Champagne and Bridge)/

Broke - and democracy resumed her reign:/

(Which goes with Bridge, and Women and Champagne.)

Mattie Lennon

Blessington, Co Wicklow

FG and FF out of touch and inconsistent on SF

NOTHING better illustrates the extent to which Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are out of touch with the people of the country than, on the one hand, their desire for Sinn Féin to be part of an administration in Northern Ireland, but on the other hand their refusal to have them as a partner in government in the Republic.

J Anthony Gaughan

Blackrock, Co Dublin

Mary Lou has earned her chance to govern

PEOPLE have voted for change. The two main political parties are continuing to pressurise Mary Lou McDonald into forming a government while at the same time refusing to meet her.

Mary Lou is leaving no stone unturned in seeking combinations to form that government.

It's about time the two main political parties stopped playing games and offer her a confidence and supply arrangement even if both parties have already ruled out coalition.

A confidence and supply arrangement would allow her to form a government and I have every confidence Mary Lou would tackle the housing and health crises immediately and lower the retirement age to 65.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have nothing to lose as they know that they could pull the plug at any time.

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Irish Independent