No TD will thank you for saying they’re home and sober
I was intrigued by Fionnán Sheahan’s article, “Squeeze from Healy-Raes and SF meant Griffin faced a fight for the seat” (Irish Independent, February 1).
Any Dáil MP will tell you that every general election is a bloodshed experience and there is usually no outgoing TD to say he or she is dead safe because there is always a contender in the long grass.
Mr Sheahan gives us a very interesting battlefield example for the next election – the Kerry constituency. He believes Brendan Griffin would be a victim in the next election and that all the other MPs – the Healy-Rae brothers, Pa Daly and Norma Foley – are home and sober.
Well, I don’t think any of the four – especially the last one – will appreciate this endorsement. The last thing a candidate wants to hear is they’re home and dry.
I always quote our local TD Michael Ring when he says there is a safe seat in the house and that is the seat of the ceann comhairle. I would like to inform Mr Sheahan that in the past the people of Kerry almost sacked an outgoing tánaiste and red carded a former Attorney General, and outgoing MPs are always reluctant to hire a running mate because they don’t like to share their votes.
I agree that the Taoiseach has a strong candidate to replace – in the last general election he secured 10,296 first preferences and also had a running mate.
If Fionnán Sheahan examines the results of the last general election, he will see that Sinn Féin, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were almost neck and neck.
Tom Garvey, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Balance Brigid’s holiday with Patrick’s feast day
It is great that as a nation we are finally celebrating St. Brigid with a holiday on the first Monday of February, except in those years when February 1st falls on a Friday: in which case the holiday falls on a Friday.
Why not just celebrate them on their feast day? St. Patrick is celebrated on his feast day each year, while by my calculation St. Brigid is celebrated on her feast day in 2030.
Perhaps, in the interest of gender equality, the government could consider a similar decision for the celebration of St. Patrick.
Joe Harrison, Spanish Point, Co. Clare
We must do everything we can to repel illiberal liberals
It seems David Ryan prefers subservience to a “greater” power over a modicum of independence (“Taylor Greene vice presidential card could turn White House red,” Letters, February 1).
The steady loss of independence has been a hallmark of the US Democratic Party in recent decades, much like the major parties in Ireland and Britain.
Perhaps Mr. Ryan would like to live in an Orwellian society where the individual ceases to really exist. If he does, he can still move to China.
In the meantime, in the “democratic” West, we must do everything we can to ward off the illiberal liberals.
Brendan Corrigan, Bogota, Colombia
Have we reached a crossroads in our demands for change?
I can’t be the only member of the public who is furious at the government’s (and its not dissimilar predecessors’) hugging procedures, as in the case of levies on electricity charges (which seem to be being imposed on the electorate without so much as). a by your permission). Coupled with the 2 percent levy imposed on insurers after the Quinn saga, the whole mindset is hard to believe.
The ideological inconsistency is troubling: in warding off fears of socialism, right-wing governments in Ireland have shied away from public action to relieve the poorest, but have no problem stepping in to help the rich (most recently the ESB).
This represents an absolute inversion of the ideal of social justice. It is certainly the case that this country has finally reached the point where it is beginning to accept that any government that fails to make social justice at the core of its ideology is not should be chosen.
More importantly, unless governments proactively engage in welfare delivery on an unprecedented scale (or sporadically, as with Donogh O’Malley’s education reforms), the chronic housing shortage and endless health care problems will persist.
Have we reached a crossroads? And is the change clearly demanded by voters twice in a row finally imminent?
Or are we doomed to listen passively when a social democrat like Róisín Shortall keeps telling the truth to those in power, but to no avail?
Brian Cosgrove, Cornelscourt, Dublin 18
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/no-td-will-thank-you-for-saying-theyre-home-and-dry-42325563.html No TD will thank you for saying they’re home and sober