The prospect of a Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael merger is far from certain

Reading Fionnán Sheahan’s article about the merger of the two civil war factions, I think he might be a bit naïve in raising that prospect.

or, if anything, Micheál Martin wanted to become a Taoiseach at all costs, so as to avoid becoming the first Fianna Fáil leader not to hold the office.

As for Leo Varadkar, well, he tasted power and obviously wanted to hold on to it with the help of the Greens.

Tom Mitchell

Loughrea, County Galway

Irish history is much more than we like to believe

Her editorial (“Michael Collins gave his life to forge our freedom,” Irish Independent22 August) should leave many hanging their heads in shame, especially those who prefer propaganda to Ireland’s historical facts.

For example, if I was paid a dime for every time I heard the national tricolor described as “green, white, and gold,” I would be a wealthy man. The story of the tricolor of green, white and orange presented by the Earls’ descendants in 1848 was to be a proud piece of Irish history, known to every citizen.

For anyone who desires a great little nation, I suggest you study the real history of Ireland – not just the parts you want to believe.

A learned nation will stand as a shining beacon in the world. What better way to pay tribute to the signatories to the Anglo-Irish Treaty – the founders of the ‘independent’ Irish state?

Declan Foley

Melbourne, Australia

Leo Varadkar’s words betray Michael Collins’ legacy

That Leo Varadkar should be speaking to Fine Gael members in Cork about the prospects of retaining power by playing up Fianna Fáil’s failure to rule out a Sinn Féin-led government tells us everything we can about Fine Gael’s alleged “legacy” from Michael Collins need to know.

In 100 years we have gone from a leader who made war and peace out of principle and courage to leaders who are fundamentally selfish.

We are ruled by landlords who “forget” their property, who rule rampant inequalities in housing and health.

We should question what became of the Republic of Equals that Collins and many others gave their lives to create.


Emlagh, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael must offer a new vision

Fionnán Sheahan (“Now the divisions of the civil war are declared ended, the merger of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is not so imaginative”, Irish IndependentAugust 22) states that a merger between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is now possible.

Surely this family quarrel should have been settled long ago in the interests of the country. It is not difficult to conclude that what motivates the grandees of both parties is self-interest combined with the dogged pursuit of high office and the rewards that come with it. It is scandalous that this courtship ritual between the two parties with identical ideologies continues while the many social ills worsen.

The country faces a winter that many will endure in energy poverty and others will live in fear of losing the roof over their heads. Others will have to reckon with having no roof over their heads at all.

This is an unforgivable situation and both parties must overcome, come together and offer the country a new and fresh vision for the future. If they don’t, none of them have a future – to which many will say “good salvation”.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathmond, Sligo

Blended learning can work for new third-level students

The lack of student accommodation is at a critical juncture and many students may have to turn down or reschedule places. The alternative is a daily trip to the university. Even this option is not feasible for many due to the long distances and increasing travel costs.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, who has made little progress in providing additional student accommodation, is appealing to households to provide a student bedroom in their homes. It all sounds very ad hoc and unregulated. Who will assess the suitability and safety of such accommodation offered? There has to be a better solution, and there is.

The blended learning used so effectively during the pandemic is worth considering. It allows students to take classes online and make occasional trips to campus for extra-curricular activities. It’s not a perfect solution, but it allows all students to start studying together.

The Catholic Church has adapted very well to the new communication reality. Universities should do the same. A mix of distance and face-to-face classes is a particularly attractive option for first-year students.

Billy Ryle

Tralee, Co Kerry The prospect of a Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael merger is far from certain

Fry Electronics Team

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