Dublin Bay South byelection lessons


Sir, – Barry Cowen, reflecting on Fianna Fáil’s poor showing in the Dublin Bay South byelection, says: “I believe the electorate deserve a focused, cohesive FF party, that is fit for purpose to serve as a republican party of the 21st century“ (News, July 10th). Surely what the electorate deserve is a focused and cohesive Government. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – I offer my sincere congratulations to Ivana Bacik, a committed and intelligent person, on her success in the Dublin Bay South byelection.

I am, however, obliged to observe my disappointment with the electorate in this constituency at the turnout, which was just about 35 per cent. I keep thinking of the images I see in the media of citizens in other less affluent countries who queue for hours to vote simply because they value exercising their hard-won democratic right. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Is it not way past time that Fianna Fáil united with Fine Gael to ensure that their future will not be as bleak as the present situation appears to indicate?

There are many aspects of life in Ireland that need urgent review to ensure a strong Ireland continues to punch above its weight. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 18.

A chara, – While congratulations are in order for Ivana Bacik’s byelection win, a dismal voter turnout of 35 per cent is an insult to the candidates who ran, the voters of the constituency of Dublin Bay South, and the democracy in which we live.

Covid can be no excuse for such a dismal voter turnout.

This privilege to express our opinion should not be taken lightly. While there are certainly valid arguments against compulsory voting, some form of it should be considered. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – There is a touch of hyperbole in your description of Ivan Bacik’s victory in the Dublin Bay South byelection as “remarkable” and a “stunning triumph”. Ms Bacik is to be congratulated on winning the seat. But an established senator with a high profile winning a seat in a constituency which returned a Labour TD in successive general elections, and where the Labour Party has a good constituency organisation, is hardly “remarkable” or “stunning’”.

Ms Bacik fits the profile of Dublin Bay South to a tee: she would have a very good chance of winning, regardless of the party ticket.

Well done, but keep it in proportion. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, – Leo Varadkar is very good at winning internal Fine Gael elections, but not so good at winning elections that actually matter.

How long can the Fine Gael membership put up with this? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – I nearly choked on my cornflakes when reading the Green Party leader’s reaction to the party’s disastrous result. Despite its vote dropping by over 14 per cent, he states that “it was a really good campaign for us ” and “was pulling us together as a party”. A case of complete denial! – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The Government should learn one lesson from the results this byelection – lobbyists are a very small fraction of the electorate and cuckoo funds don’t even have a vote! – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – To most observers, Fianna Fáil’s poor showing from the Dublin Bay South byelection came as no surprise. At this point, changing the leadership alone will not rescue the party. It must, once and for all, ditch its love affair with the private sector, and realise that political parties are now required to act at all times in the common good, regardless of whether actions required to do so step on the toes of vested interests or not. The choice is stark. Fianna Fáil must put the people first or face obliteration. – Yours, etc,